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Red Cross in need of diverse blood donations

The American Red Cross urges people of all races and ethnicities to give blood or platelets to help increase the diversity of the blood supply. Right now, the Red Cross is primarily asking for donations of either type O or B blood as well as donations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. For patients with rare blood types or those who receive regular blood transfusions, blood must be matched closely – beyond the primary A, B, O and AB blood types – to reduce the risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy. The best match may be someone of the same racial or ethnic group. Eight-year-old AJ Torres requires blood transfusions to treat complications from sickle cell disease, the most common genetic disease in the U.S. The disease is most common among people of African descent or Latino descent, like AJ, and can sometimes cause small blood vessels to become blocked. Diverse donors are important to ensuring AJ has the blood products he needs to regain his health. “Within minutes of receiving a blood transfusion, I watch his strength be restored, pain vanish and energy return. Soon he transforms back to himself – a rambunctious little boy,” said his mom, Caira Torres. “If an 8-year-old can withstand a needle, so can you.” As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see “I’m sure that everybody has been touched by somebody that needs blood. Whether it’s that person that’s had a surgery, or that family member that has cancer, or somebody that has had an accident where they needed blood… If you really think about it, I’m sure everybody knows somebody who has benefited from that,” said Traci Lund, the Pocatello Red Cross account representative. Upcoming blood donation opportunities Sept. 25-Oct. 15: Arimo 10/1/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Marsh Valley High School, 12655 South Old Hwy 91 Pocatello 10/8/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Walmart Chubbuck, 4240 Yellowstone Avenue 10/10/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Planet Fitness, 4235 Yellowstone Aveunue Blackfoot 10/2/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Emanuel Lutheran Church, 110 Parkway Shelley 10/3/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Shelley Fire Department, 585 West Fir St Idaho Falls 9/27/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Teton VW, 2220 West Sunnyside Road 9/27/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Idaho Falls North Stake Center, 955 Memorial Drive 10/4/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Ucon Idaho Stake Center, 2967 E 105 N Dubois 10/15/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m., Dubois Community Center, Dubois Community Center Saint Anthony 9/26/2019: 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., St. Anthony Stake Center, 247 E 4th N Rigby 10/4/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Jefferson County Courthouse, 210 Courthouse Way Suite 100 10/8/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 401 W. 1st S. 10/11/2019: 9 a.m. – 2:15 p.m., Rigby Idaho East Stake Center, 4021 E 300 N How to donate blood Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.

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