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Red Cross: Help tackle critical need for blood and get a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl

Thu, Jan 9th 2020 02:35 pm
Natalia Mayorga gives blood at a Red Cross blood drive. (Photo by Amanda Romney/© The American National Red Cross 2018)
Natalia Mayorga gives blood at a Red Cross blood drive. (Photo by Amanda Romney/© The American National Red Cross 2018)

Red Cross and NFL team up to offer donors a chance to win a trip to Miami

The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood donors of all blood types – especially type O – and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks. Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood. To help tackle the critical need, the Red Cross and NFL are working together to offer one lucky winner a trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, volunteer sponsor groups hosted about 500 fewer blood drives than required to meet patient needs. Many groups postpone blood drives during the winter holidays when travel and holiday activities may make it challenging for many donors to give. In fact, AAA estimated a record 115.6 million Americans traveled during the holiday period of Dec. 21 through Jan. 1.

“Lifesaving medical treatments and emergencies never take a holiday,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president, Red Cross biomedical services. “Declines in donations can affect patient care. That’s why the Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to make an appointment to give now and help those sidelined by illness and trauma.”

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give now using the Red Cross blood donor app, visiting www.RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or enabling the blood donor skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a special thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets now through Jan. 19 will automatically be entered for a chance to experience the Super Bowl live. The Red Cross and NFL have teamed up to offer one winner two tickets to Super Bowl LIV, entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round-trip airfare to Miami, three-night hotel accommodations at The Alexander - All Suite Oceanfront Resort (Jan. 31 to Feb. 3), and a $500 gift card for expenses. Restrictions apply. Visit www.RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for additional details.

“The Red Cross appreciates the NFL’s support during this crucial time of year when every donation – and every donor – matters. We hope this may inspire some to make regular blood and platelet donation one of their New Year’s resolutions,” Sullivan said.

All presenting donors will receive an American Red Cross reusable tote bag, while supplies last.

Who Blood Donations Help

This fall, 13-year-old Josh Roy and his family learned the importance of blood donations firsthand. In October, Josh contracted a severe case of influenza B and necrotizing staph pneumonia. He was transported to the hospital, was put on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine that circulates blood through an artificial lung, and eventually needed a tracheostomy tube. Josh has received multiple blood transfusions during his treatment.

“You never know when someone you love might end up needing a blood transfusion,” said Jaqueline Bakehorn, Josh’s aunt. “We are so thankful for those who have given blood and would love to see more people donate.”

Josh is still hospitalized, but is making slow, gradual progress. He faces a long road to recovery and may need additional blood transfusions along the way.

Give Blood

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

•Lewiston: 1:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at First Presbyterian Church, 505 Cayuga St.

•Youngstown: 1:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. Firehall, 625 3rd St.

•Niagara Falls: 1-6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at Cristoforo Colombo Society, 2223 Pine Ave.; 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, 28 Old Falls St.

•Lockport: 1-6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at The Dale Association Inc., 33 Ontario St.

•Newfane: 12:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at Newfane Town Hall Community Center, 2737 Main St.

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