N_tice _nything missing? Help the Red Cross fill the Missing Types

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Blood Region

June 13, 2019- When the letters A, B and O vanish from everyday life, the gaps are striking. And when A, B, O and AB blood types are missing from hospital shelves, lives could be changed forever.

MT 2019_InfographicOn June 11 the American Red Cross partnered with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to launch the Missing Types campaign to raise awareness of the need for new and current blood donors to donate and help ensure blood is available for patients in need this summer. The O’s in Long Live Rock disappeared during the launch, to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays in ensuring the main blood groups – A, B and O, are available whenever and wherever needed.

A sad truth is only 3 out of 100 Americans donate blood each year, but every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. If more people roll up a sleeve to give, blood shortages can be prevented.

Why blood donors are needed

Tymia McCullough relies on blood donations to help battle sickle cell disease, an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form in an abnormal crescent shape. Sickle cell disease patients can suffer a range of conditions, including acute anemia, tissue and organ damage, terrible pain and even strokes.

With no widely used cure, regular blood transfusions are one of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease. At one time, when McCullough arrived at the hospital, the blood type she needed for her transfusion was not available.

“It was the scariest, most frightening moment of a mother’s life, because I thought that she would not be able to get it,” said Susie Pitts, Tymia’s mother. “In that moment, in that experience, I was very afraid. I was scared for my daughter’s life ─ what was going to happen if she didn’t get the blood she needed?”

Eight hours later, the nurse came running through the door with the needed blood product.

Again, this past fall Tymia experienced a painful sickle cell crisis and needed to wait 10 long hours for the hospital to locate the blood she needed for her treatment. Thankfully, Tymia is better today, yet her experience illustrates the ongoing need for blood, and at times, the frightening reality patients face when needed blood supplies become critically low.

Make a difference today

  • Spread the word
  • Write out your name with the A’s, B’s and O’s missing on the “blank” selfie sign, and take a photo with it. (Underscores are recommended. Example: _meric_n Red Cr_ss. Basic directions are also posted at the previous link for your convenience.)
  • Visit RedCrossBlood.org to share a Missing Types message on your social media.

Commit about an hour of your day to give blood and help save a life. Patients need you.

Six things to know before donating:

  1. You don’t need to know your blood type.
    According to a national survey conducted earlier this year on behalf of the Red Cross, more than half (54%) of people believe they need to know their blood type to donate blood. This is simply untrue.
  2. Hydrate – drink an extra 16 oz. of liquid before and after donating.
  3. Enjoy a healthy meal rich in iron and vitamin C before donating – avoid foods high in fat just prior to donation.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow.
  5. Complete a RapidPass on the day of donation, prior to arriving, to save time.
  6. Remember to bring an ID.

Help fill in the missing types this summer. Schedule a donation appointment now.

Click here to visit out Flickr account to view photos from the Missing Type kick-off event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Our thanks to Joann Fabric and Craft Stores for providing the material used to cover the letter “O” in the Long Live Rock sculpture.

This article was edited by Glenda Bogar,  American Red Cross volunteer

Help now: Type O blood shortage

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Blood Region

Spring is a busy time of year for many people, but the need for blood and platelets doesn’t let up. Last month, more than 11,500 fewer donations were collected than needed as spring break schedules and end of the school year activities contributed to a low turnout of blood donors. As a result, the American Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges type O donors to give now to ensure blood is available for patients in need of lifesaving treatments or facing traumas.

Type O_Critical need

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms – where it can be most critical. Type O donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in. Type O blood is the most needed blood group by hospitals but is often in short supply. Here in the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region, approximately 500 pints of blood are needed every day to help meet patient needs. The Region serves more than 50 hospitals who depend on the Red Cross for a strong, local blood supply.

Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee 2019

All eligible donors – especially type O donors – are urged to roll up a sleeve as soon as possible. In thanks for helping meet patient needs, those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross May 1-June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

Don’t wait – help now!

  1. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can also give throughout northeast Ohio at the Red Cross donation centers in Parma, Akron and Cleveland.
  2. Let your friends and family know there is a type O #BloodShortage and ask them to give now.
  3. Bring someone to donate with you.

Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018

Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives. Your support can help ensure that blood products are there for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

Make an appointment to give now.

Wrapped in Red Gala honors generosity of donors

J.M. Smucker Company recognized for humanitarian efforts

 

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio

May 3, 2019- Celebration will be in the air on Saturday, May 11 at The Global Center for Bloodmobile Blood Drive Columbia, South Carolina 2018Health Innovation. The American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio will be hosting the Wrapped in Red Gala.

The Wrapped in Red Gala is a special “thank you” celebration recognizing the generosity of local organizations that have been instrumental in helping with the cost of a new bloodmobile for the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio.

The Red Cross relies on bloodmobiles to fulfill its mission to collect and deliver lifesaving blood. To make giving blood as convenient as possible, bloodmobiles—specially fitted buses containing equipment, beds and supplies—are vital to reaching today’s busy donors near their homes, workplaces, schools and other community-based locations.

Unfortunately, the current fleet of bloodmobiles is aging. The newest of the three regional bloodmobiles is 8-years-old, just two years from its recommended replacement at 10 years.

Bloodmobile Blood Drive Columbia, South Carolina 2018A new state-of-the-art bloodmobile measures 40-feet long and 8.5 feet wide and includes three health history booths where donors’ eligibility screenings are conducted, as well as up to five beds where blood is drawn.

Along with celebrating of the local community in helping the Red Cross collect much need blood to help save lives, the Wrapped in Red Gala will honor one of the region’s premier philanthropic companies.

The J.M. Smucker Company will be presented with the Steve D. Bullock Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Executive Chairman Richard Smucker will be accepting the award on behalf of the company. The award will be presented by Beth Mooney, the chairman and CEO of KeyCorp, and a previous recipient of the Humanitarian Award.

KeyBank is the presenting sponsor of the Wrapped in Red Gala.

2017 American Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball

Beth Mooney accepting the Steve D. Bullock Humanitarian of the Year Award

A leading Northeast Ohio business for more than 120 years, Smucker has always operated with the philosophy that being a successful business and a responsible one is not mutually exclusive. The company believes that success is only possible by ensuring those who support and are impacted by its business thrive along with it. In that spirit, Smucker supports a wide range of organizations nationally, including the American Red Cross, Feeding America, Rescue Bank, and the United Way, among others.

The company also has several local partners, including the American Red Cross Greater Cleveland Chapter, Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, the Akron Canton Foodbank, Akron Children’s Hospital, and the LeBron James Family Foundation.

Following the award presentation, the Red Cross of Greater Cleveland Young Professionals Council will sponsor an after-party, which will include entertainment and dancing.

To schedule a blood donation appointment and to find a blood drive near you, visit RedCrossBlood.org.

Premier Partner Program & sponsors

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Blood Region

March 25, 2019- Recently, the American Red Cross presented Kalahari Resorts & Conventions with its Premier Blood Drive Partner award. The Premier Partner program recognizes blood drive sponsors who have collected at least 50 pints in a year. Last year, Kalahari collected 115 pints of lifesaving blood for local patients.

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions recently received the Premier Blood Drive Partner Award earlier this year. L to R: Angie Reyes, HR Director, Iryna Pylypenko, Employment Manager, Mary Ann Benton, Brian Shanle, General Manager

More than 80 percent of blood donations are made at blood drives organized by volunteer sponsor groups and coordinators. Right now, blood drive hosts are needed for spring and throughout the year. A blood drive is a commitment to help meet the needs of seriously ill or injured patients. Blood products are essential for the treatment of accident victims, surgical and sickle cell disease patients, those receiving cancer treatments, premature babies and others.

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James Lassiter III of Garfield Heights donated blood at a recent Kalahari hosted blood drive in February

Every single day, the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region needs to collect 500 pints of blood to meet the needs of patients at more than 50 local hospitals. This cannot happen without the support of blood drive sponsors. Become a blood drive sponsor and help save lives! To learn more about hosting a blood drive, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/hosting-a-blood-drive/learn-about-hosting/why-host-a-blood-drive.html or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

Don’t assume you can’t donate blood

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

“You can’t do that!”

He heard it more than once, from more than one well-wishing, but uninformed friend and acquaintance.

Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell represents Ward 9, including Glenville and part of University Circle, north of Euclid Avenue. Honored in Washington as National Father of the Year, Conwell has served on City Council since 2001.

Conwell was a frequent blood donor, repeatedly donating since 2004. “I would donate as often as I could,” said Conwell. “We often held blood drives right in the lobby of city hall, that made it easy for us to donate.”

Then Conwell was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013. With quick detection of the cancer, and treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, Conwell kicked the disease and has been cancer-free for a number of years.

“When I talked about donating again, friends would repeatedly tell me, ‘You can’t donate blood after receiving chemotherapy. There’s no way.’”

Then Conway got a phone call from the American Red Cross, asking if they could schedule a blood donation for him.

“You don’t want my blood,” he said. “I’ve had chemo treatments for colon cancer.”

“Are you still receiving chemo treatments?” the operator asked.

“No, I’ve been done with those for a couple years,” Conway replied.

“Well, good then. Let me make you an appointment. You are clear to donate,” explained the operator.

And he did. And he continues to donate.

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“I tell everyone I talk to at City Council that ‘Yes, you can donate after colon cancer.’ They are usually surprised.”

_ _ _ _ _

It’s a common misconception that certain infections, afflictions or diseases will disqualify you from donating. But don’t assume. There’s an easy way to find out for sure.

Call the Red Cross Donor Suitability line at 1-866-236-3276. Tell them any health concerns you have, and a trained professional will be able to tell you whether you can donate today or if maybe you need to wait a certain amount of time before you donate.

There’s a severe shortage of blood and platelets this year. With the severe winter weather we experienced, many blood drives had to be canceled. Even before that, there was a great demand for blood following many of the national disasters late last year.

Make the call. Only about 40 percent of the population can donate, and merely 10 percent of them actually do.

Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Editor’s note: Councilman Conwell’s story has been shared on the national Red Cross website, with the hope of reaching a wider audience with his message.  You can access the story here. 

Bleed for the Throne: The Red Cross is calling on all Game of Thrones fans to donate blood

February 21, 2019 – Arya, Cersei, Jon and Tyrion, have all bled for the throne. To celebrate the final season of Game of Thrones, the American Red Cross and HBO have forged an alliance, challenging superfans and donors to show their devotion and bleed for the throne as well.

The Red Cross and HBO invite all fans of the hit show to join us by scheduling your blood or platelet donation today, and you could find out who’ll bleed in season 8 before the rest of the world!

Winter is here. With thousands of blood donations uncollected due to snow
storms and extreme cold over the past couple of months, the Red Cross and
HBO urge individuals to roll up a sleeve and give blood as soon as possible to
ensure critical medical treatments or emergency care are not delayed or
canceled.

“We are incredibly excited to mobilize the global army of Game of Thrones fans to make a positive impact on the world” said Zach Enterlin, Executive Vice President, Program Marketing, HBO. “In partnership with the American Red Cross, we’re creating a unique platform to engage our tremendously passionate fanbase, and ultimately showcase the bravery and valor of those fans who will go so far as to bleed for the throne.”

“The American Red Cross is thrilled to partner with HBO and Game of Thrones. Every day, thousands of patients across the country are dependent on voluntary blood donors to help them fight for their lives,” said Cliff Numark, Senior Vice President, American Red Cross Blood Services. “Winter is finally here, and the needs are dire. No matter who you’re rooting for to take the throne, you can be a hero for patients in need.”

GOT T-shirtIf you donate blood from now until March 17, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five trips to the season 8 world premiere of Game of Thrones! The trip includes travel for two, up to two nights hotel accommodations and a $250 gift card for expenses.

In addition, if you donate from March 7-12, you’ll also receive this exclusive Game of Thrones T-shirt and sticker with a unique Snapchat filter, while supplies last!

Schedule your donation today and start thinking about which lucky friend or family member might accompany you to the premiere!

So, there’s only one question remaining. How far will you go #ForTheThrone?

To find upcoming Northeast Ohio blood drives and to schedule your donation  and to read the terms and conditions, please visit RedCrossBlood.org/HBOGameofThrones.

Donors give from the heart at 21st annual blood drive

Valentine’s week tradition held once again at Landerhaven

By Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

IMG_0801Love was in the air and flowing freely on Tuesday at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven. Not because it was two days before Valentine’s Day. It was thanks to the generous residents of Northeast Ohio who donated 495 pints of blood during the Give from the Heart blood drive in Mayfield Heights.

The sentiment “give more love, give more life” aptly sums up the event and the donors’ acts of kindness. Their gift of blood will help save lives—and is especially timely during the current blood emergency.

The American Red Cross’ 21st annual Give from the Heart blood drive, sponsored this year by Executive Caterers, Cleveland Clinic and Lake Health, has been a tradition in Northeast Ohio for more than 20 years, collecting nearly 13,500 pints for local patients.

The premier event destination, which hosts elegant weddings and corporate affairs was bustling with a sea of red shirts worn by Red Cross Blood Services technicians assisting donors. WINT Radio 1130 AM and 101.5 FM fueled the energy of the event by playing music and engaging donors in trivia games.

Donors received buy-one-get-one ticket offers to Cleveland Cavaliers basketball games. They were also treated to gourmet food and free gifts.

“We are so grateful to our donors,” said Christy Peters, external communications manager of the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio’s Blood Services division. “Their donations at the Give from the Heart blood drive will impact so many local patients and help us overcome the current blood emergency.”

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Regional CEO Mike Parks and Collections Specialist Tony Parrish-Figueroa

Mike Parks, CEO of the Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region, Nick McCauley, Greater Cleveland Chapter board member, and a number of the Red Cross Young Professionals Council shared in the giving spirit by donating blood alongside area residents.

Nick Mc

Greater Cleveland Chapter Board member Nick McCauley

 

 

 

Janice Tanori, a 78-year-old from Cleveland Heights, was among the donors. As a teenager, she tried to donate blood but couldn’t when she found out she was anemic. Years later, as an adult working at Gould Ocean Systems in Cleveland, she volunteered to donate at a company-sponsored blood drive, fully expecting to be turned away but hoping to spend some time away from work. Instead, she learned she was eligible.

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Janice Tanori

“It doesn’t pay to try to get out of work,” she said. “But once I was able to donate, I began to give regularly and have ever since.” That was more than 30 years ago. Janice now donates blood twice each year.

The Give from the Heart blood drive is a unique special event and was successful in helping to restore the lifesaving blood supply.

There are many scheduled blood drives aimed at helping the blood supply recover from a donation shortfall over the winter holidays that prompted the Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood and platelet donors.

Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and type O blood donors, are needed to prevent the blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and impacting patient care.

So what is a blood emergency and why is donating blood so important? Here are some facts:

  • Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. The goal is to keep a five-day supply on hand at all times to meet the needs of patients and be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products.
  • Snow storms and frigid weather in parts of the country have prolonged the shortfall in donations. Since the beginning of the year, more than 16,000 blood and platelet donations went uncollected due to blood drive cancellations.
  • With more winter weather possible in February, additional blood drive cancellations could further strain the blood supply.
  • The recent federal government shutdown also affected donations as more than 4 percent of Red Cross blood collections come from drives sponsored by military and local, state and federal government agencies. About 30 blood drives were canceled across the country due to the government shutdown, resulting in more than 900 uncollected donations.
  • Blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors. Therefore, any disruptions to donations–from declines due to holiday travel to severe weather and even widespread flu–can lead to an emergency need and cause delays in essential medical care.

You can help. To find a blood drive near you and make an appointment, visit our website or call 1-800-RED CROSS.