Help kids kick cancer by donating blood

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, August 28, 2019

ST. PAUL — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to support kids, teens and young adults battling cancer, as well as others in need of transfusions.

The National Cancer Institute estimated that more than 15,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. would be diagnosed with cancer last year. Childhood cancer patients may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.

Cancer and cancer treatments can put patients at risk for low red blood cell and platelet counts. Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, lowering the production of red blood cells and platelets. Cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma attack the bone marrow as well. Blood and platelet transfusions can enable patients to receive critical treatments needed to fight and survive cancer.

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Platelet donors and blood donors of all blood types are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply following a summer blood shortage. As a thank-you, those who come to give Aug. 30 through Sept. 3 will receive a unique Red Cross canvas tote bag while supplies last.

Make an appointment to donate by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood drives are also essential in helping ensure blood is available for patients this winter. To learn more and sign up to host a blood drive, visit

Donors who donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross this September can get a free haircut coupon from Sport Clips Haircuts — a proud supporter of childhood cancer research — during the annual Saving Lives Never Looked So Good campaign.

Those who come out to give blood or platelets Sept. 1-30 will receive a coupon for a free haircut via email several days after their donation. The coupon is valid through Nov. 11, 2019, at participating Sport Clips locations. Donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.

Upcoming Austin blood drives

• Aug. 30 – Mower County Employees, 201 First St. NE, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Sept. 5 – St. John’s Lutheran, 1200 13th Ave. NW, noon to 6 p.m.

• Sept. 6 – YMCA, 704 First Dr. NW, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.