During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood or platelets to provide hope and healing to patients fighting cancer.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and more than 268,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
In August 2016, Myel Bowers-Smith went to the doctor for what she thought was a breast infection for a mosquito bite after a vacation in Cancun. Instead, she received the devastating diagnosis – she had stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer, a very rare and aggressive breast carcinoma. Bowers-Smith, a U.S. Army veteran, committed to fighting for her life. “Once I began fighting, I knew I had to remain strong,” she said. Her aggressive care plan included five different chemotherapy treatments and steroids.
Like many patients with cancer, Bower-Smith needed multiple blood product transfusions. Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, more than half of all platelets collected by the Red Cross are used by patients with cancer.
After months of grueling treatments, in August 2017, Bowers-Smith celebrated the news that her cancer was in remission. Today, she enjoys sharing her story and encouraging others to be a blessing by donating blood or platelets. “Eligible donors, you have something good – which is your blood. A pint of blood can help save lives.”
Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are needed to ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see rcblood.org/game.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct. 16-31:
10/17/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Banner Bank, 950 W Bannock
10/18/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., State Farm Insurance, 1602 W Hayes Street
10/18/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Girl Scouts of Silver Sage, 8948 W Barnes Street
10/21/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Dennis Dillon, 2777 So. Orchard
10/21/2019: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 3100 S Five Mile
10/24/2019: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Boise City Hall, 150 N Capitol Blvd, Corner of 6th and Main Street
10/26/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cabela’s, 8109 W Franklin Road
10/30/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., PacificSource Health Plans, 408 E. Parkcenter Blvd. Ste 100
10/16/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cornerstone Healthcare Inc., 1675 E Riverside Dr, Suite #200
10/18/2019: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6575 S Eagle Road
10/21/2019: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Holy Apostles Catholic Church, 6300 North Meridian Road
10/22/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., AmeriBen/IEC Group, 2888 W. Excursion Ln.
10/24/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Idaho Central Credit Union Mountain View Branch, 1615 S. Celebration
10/25/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Howell Orthdontics, 1910 S. Meridian Rd., Suite 100
10/21/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ladies Club Hall, 121 Boise Street
10/18/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Church of Christ, 4012 S 10th Avenue
10/28/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Evergreen Heights Mennonite Church, 701 North Indiana
10/25/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Middleton Academy, 511 W Main Street
10/18/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 927 Ruth Lane
10/26/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Crossroads Community Church, 4170 E. Amity Road
10/29/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Canyon Building, 121 N Canyon Street, LDS Canyon Nampa
10/31/2019: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Parma Rural Fire Protection District, 29200 Hwy 95
10/25/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. Luke’s Elmore Medical Center, 480 E 8th N
10/29/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., First Baptist Church, 15 N 10th Street
To donate blood visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.