Two local patients fighting cancerous brain tumors have inspired a blood and platelet drive for September 19-30, 2016 at Houchin Community Blood Bank.
The drive’s goal is to raise emotional support for Abigail Segundo and Amanda Broome, and encourage blood and platelet donations for cancer survivors like them. As part of this effort, No One Fights Alone will sponsor a blood drive on Saturday, September 24 from 8 am to 2 pm at the Truxtun Donor Center. On that day, the organization will be on site to share information about their work to support these patients and their families.
Donors should use Account Code 929 to honor these cancer warriors.
Houchin wants to put real local patient faces behind the daily need for platelet donations, in hopes it will spur more people to give platelet donation a try. Potential platelet donors are being encouraged to donate in honor of Amanda and Abigail through September 30th.
People with any blood type are needed for platelet donation, and required appointments can be made by calling 661-616-2505. There are a limited number of chairs at each donor center with the specialized automated donation equipment required to collect platelets from willing volunteers. The chairs are fitted with computers so that donors can easily pass the time while making a platelet donation, which does take longer than a regular whole blood donation.
Local platelet use has tripled since January, with a particularly heavy increase seen the past four months.
Many prior donors can no longer give or have moved away. It is not uncommon for 5 or more local hospitals or cancer centers to call for platelets all at once. Platelets are on the forefront of fighting the effects of chemotherapy, as well as trauma care. Platelets have a very short shelf life as there are only about 3 days to get platelets to a patient after testing. So, it is absolutely necessary to see a steady supply of donors coming in every day to keep fresh platelets ready to meet patient needs.
Donor centers are located at 5901 Truxtun Avenue and 11515 Bolthouse Drive in Bakersfield. Hours are 9 am to 6 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 am to 7 pm Thursday, and 8 am to 2 pm on Saturday.
Blood donors must be in good health, weigh 110 pounds, and be 16 years of age or older. Platelet donors must be 17 and over. Both 16 and 17 year olds must present parental consent forms available at http://hcbb.com/consent-forms-for-minors/. A photo ID with date of birth is all that is needed to start saving lives, at either Bakersfield donor center.
More information about blood donation is available at 661-323-4222 or www.hcbb.com.