from staff reports
---- — GREENTOWN — First United Methodist Church, 127 S. Meridian St., will have an American Red Cross blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at First United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 127 S. Meridian St. in Greentown.
There will be a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 24 at St. Joseph Hospital in Trinity Classroom, 1907 W. Sycamore St., Kokomo.
The American Red Cross is urging blood donations during September to help support the initiatives of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.
According to the American Cancer Society’s webpage, about 11,630 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2013. Cancer patients need frequent transfusions, often involving multiple blood products, particularly during chemotherapy and radiation therapies.
Blood transfusions also help those who have sickle cell disease, an inherited disorder. The distorted red blood cells in SCD patients can cause physical pain, stroke, anemia and organ damage. Although there is no cure at this time, multiple red blood cell transfusions can help protect SCD patients from some of the complications of the disease.
Those interested in donating blood may call the American Red Cross at 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.