The American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society are encouraging people to Give Blood to Give Time to provide strength and
support to those battling cancer.
Submitted photo by Ed Tepper/American Red Cross
The American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society are encouraging people to Give Blood to Give Time to provide strength and support to those battling cancer. Submitted photo by Ed Tepper/American Red Cross

This February, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to encourage people across the country to Give Blood to Give Time, ensuring loved ones have the strength and support to battle cancer. Patients fighting cancer need more blood than patients fighting any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply, according to an American Red Cross news release.

The American Cancer Society also states 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. An estimated 33,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Minnesota this year.

Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, reducing red blood cell and platelet production. Other times, the cancer itself or surgical procedures cause the problem. Blood products are often needed. In fact, five units of blood are needed every minute to help someone going through cancer treatment. Three percent of people in the U.S. give blood, according to the American Red Cross news release.

Individuals can honor their loved ones by making a blood donation appointment or financial contribution at GiveBloodToGiveTime.org.

If you are interested in donating blood, opportunities in Otter Tail, Todd and Wadena Counties are coming up.

Otter Tail:

  • Battle Lake: 12:30 - 6:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 505 W Holdt St. on Feb. 24;
  • Fergus Falls: 1 - 7 p.m. at Good Shepherd Church LBC, 515 Western Ave. on Feb. 27.

Todd:

  • Staples: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Central Lakes College, 1830 Airport Road on Feb. 19.

Wadena:

  • Sebeka: Noon to 6 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran, 401 SE 2nd St. on Feb. 26;

  • Wadena: Noon to 6 p.m. at Elks Lodge, 647 N Jefferson St. on Feb. 17; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Elks Lodge, 647 N Jefferson St. on Feb. 18.

How to donate blood

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 old (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 old and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.