GREENVILLE, S.C. — If this announcement came from a large milk producer and the headline read “Milk shortage leads to 2-day supply in local grocery stores,” people would most likely rush to the nearest store to buy milk, creating long lines and a sense of panic. After all, milk is a staple item in most everyone’s fridge – but if push came to shove – there are substitutes like almond, oat, and soy milk.
A different, yet similar, urgent supply issue is happening right now: The Blood Connection fears it could be running on a 2-3-day supply of blood very soon. To make matters worse, there is no substitute for blood. And just like milk, blood has a shelf life. That’s why blood must be continuously donated for real patients in local hospitals, who desperately need blood transfusions every day. Without a stable blood supply, patients like 12-year-old Rhys Shaw, who battled acute T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma wouldn’t have a fighting chance at survival. Cancer patients use 25% of donated blood for their treatments.
Blood donors of all types are urgently needed through the summer. Community members are urged to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. One donation can help up to three people. ‘Freedom Week’ at TBC was formed many years ago to anticipate and prepare for the decrease of blood donors in the summer months. This year, Freedom Week is June 26 through July 10. TBC will be thanking blood donors who give from June 26th – July 10th with a commemorative t-shirt and an eGift card valued at $20. The blood donation is priceless.
“While you’re enjoying the holiday, please remember to make a blood donation for your fellow Americans who are depending on blood for surgeries and cancer treatments. Although you may never meet the person who receives your donation, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve done something miraculous; saving a neighbor’s life,” says Delisa English, TBC president and CEO.
The sad reality is only three percent of the population donates blood, but one in seven people who enter a hospital will need a blood transfusion. The supply simply doesn’t keep up with the demand. Historically, there is a higher demand for blood products in July. Go to thebloodconnection.org/donate or call (864) 255-5000 to make an appointment. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Donors must bring a valid photo ID.