Blood drives planned for Oct. 17-18

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood to support cancer patients and other patients during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

More than 1.6 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year and 246,600 of them will be invasive breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Cancer patients may need blood products during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.

Mary Kay Huppert was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

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“I was a nurse for 40 years,” she said in a press release. “I saw blood transfusions save a lot of lives.” She received two transfusions herself while being treated for breast cancer.

The Red Cross must collect about 14,000 blood donations every day to help patients, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those needing transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at to save time when donating.

Upcoming Red Cross blood drive:

1 p.m.-7 p.m. on Oct. 17 and 12 p.m.-6 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Austin National Guard Armory, 800 21st St. NE