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Want to save a life today? How about three? You can do just that by donating blood.

January 15, 2015

It’s easy to overlook the importance of donating blood because most of us just don’t think about it until it applies to us. However when the unthinkable happens- an unexpected surgery, a cancer diagnosis, a premature baby is born- donated blood can make the difference between life and death. One out of every three people in the United States will need donated blood at some time in their lives. And for some, that time is now.

I’d like you to meet Ethan.

Ethan is ­14 years old. In May of 2013, Ethan was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. After undergoing 14 rounds of chemotherapy treatment, he was cancer-free and ready to go back to life as a normal teenager. However, a few months later during a routine follow-up, doctors diagnosed Ethan with a blood disorder called myelodisplastic syndrome (MDS), which then progressed to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), likely an unwanted side effect of his previous chemotherapy. He underwent another round of chemotherapy treatment and a bone marrow transplant that required him to spend 67 consecutive days in the hospital. He made it home just in time to spend Christmas with his family. He’s looking forward to finishing his treatment so that he can go back to school, play video games with his friends and enjoy his favorite sports like soccer and baseball.

Ethan has had numerous blood and platelet transfusions over the course of his therapy and as his Dad, J.P., says:

“Blood and platelet donations are ultra critical for anyone going through cancer, especially children. Between children and adults going through cancer, there is an absolutely critical need and it’s just as important as their chemotherapy and any other medications they need to get them back to a healthy life. By donating blood or platelets, you are saving someone’s life.”

Donated blood is a necessary and life-saving part of treatment for children with cancer, like Ethan. Kids like Ethan aren’t the only ones who need donated blood, though. Have you ever known anyone whose child was born prematurely? How about anyone who’s needed heart surgery? Been in a car accident? Needed an organ transplant? Children and adults alike who find themselves in these life-threatening circumstances depend on the generous donations of others for their treatment.

Did you know that each time you donate blood, your donation could potentially save the life of three different people? It takes an hour of your time, but it makes a lifetime of difference.

To find a donation location, simply search for your zipcode here to find a location near you.