American Red Cross encourages blood donations during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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(ABC4)- The American Red Cross is urging people to give blood or platelets to support kids, teens, and young adults battling cancer, as well as others in need of transfusions during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The National Cancer Institute reports that in 2021, an estimated 10,500 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in children from birth to age 14 in the United States. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children in that age group are leukemias, brain and other central nervous systems (CNS) tumors, and lymphomas.

Despite a 65% drop in cancer-related deaths between 1970 and 2016, it is still the leading cause of death from disease among children, with an estimated 1,190 children expected to die from the disease.

Millie Flamm was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in December of 2009. She received blood transfusions until she passed away on June 18, 2013. Flamm’s father Brady established the Millie’s Princess Foundation in her honor to help provide financial assistance for local families fighting childhood cancer. 

For blood transfusions, Type-O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. 

A type-O negative is the universal blood type. Emergency room personnel go for this blood type in situations when there is no time to determine a patient’s blood type. 

The Red Cross has to collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at around 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. According to them, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.

Therefore, it is important for the Red Cross to be regularly stocked with enough blood on the shelves for ongoing cancer patient care and emergencies.

Anyone wishing to donate blood is encouraged to make an appointment through the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

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