Give the Gift That Saves Lives!

Dec 13, 2010, 10:00 ET from New York Blood Center

These Patients Need Your Support

NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York Blood Center (NYBC), serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, urges the community to please donate blood, the gift of life, and help save lives this holiday season.  Donors with Rh-negative blood types as well as platelet donors are particularly needed, but healthy people of all blood types and ethnicities are encouraged to donate in the days ahead.

The need for blood never takes a holiday.  Winter is a season when blood supplies decrease sharply while hospital and patient needs remain the same.  Setting aside a few minutes of your time to donate blood will help a neighbor in need while replenishing the community supply.  Somewhere, someone is fighting for his or her life.

In the spirit of the holidays, add blood donation to your gift list.  You won't know whose life you are saving but you will certainly be giving something that is priceless.  You can also help by organizing a blood drive in your community or at your place of work or school.

New York Blood Center is thankful for the individuals, employers, community groups, schools and religious organizations that are steadfast in their commitment to blood drives throughout the busy holiday season.  Please call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org to schedule a blood donation or for information on how to organize a blood drive.

Please consider giving blood at the following drives dedicated to patients who need your support right now and at our community blood drives during the holidays to help maintain our community blood supply. If you cannot donate, then please ask someone to donate for you.  People can donate one pint of whole blood every 56 days.

In Honor of Carly Rose Nieves

Saturday, December 18, 2010

9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Christ the King High School

68-02 Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village, NY 11379


In Honor of Alex Mele and Christian Cruz

Saturday, December 18, 2010

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Champion Motor Sports

2686 Middle Country Road, Centereach, NY 11720


In Honor of Anthony Dones

Monday, December 20, 2010

3:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Michael F. Stokes Elementary School

101 Owl Place, Levittown, NY 11756


Stephen Krane "Holiday Heroes" Blood/Marrow Drive

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Rockland Blood Center

25 Smith Street, Nanuet, NY 10954


"Holiday Heroes" Drive

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Patterson Fire Department Station #1

13 Burdick Road, Patterson, NY 12563



Carly Rose Nieves, 14, was first diagnosed with leukemia in July 2003.  She was treated with 2 years of intensive chemotherapy, but unfortunately Carly suffered a relapse in December 2008 after spending 3 years and 2 months in remission.  This relapse and new diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells that normally fight infections, placed Carly in the high risk category, which requires an additional 3 years of intensive, high dose chemotherapy.

Alex Mele, 16, was an avid baseball player hoping to win his fight against Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.  Alex received the best news ever on Christmas Eve 2009 that a match was found.  He received his transplant and became cancer free for a short time.  Unfortunately, Alex passed away on August 9, 2010 after suffering an infection that he could not fight.  But in his name, donors are still actively being sought for cancer patients in need.

While in the hospital, Alex Mele met and befriended Christian Cruz, 15, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  Christian recently received a bone marrow transplant from his younger brother Justin and is currently in remission.  This is the second year that the families of Alex Mele and Christian Cruz have joined forces to hold blood and bone marrow drives.

Anthony Dones was diagnosed with osteopetrosis, a rare congenital bone disorder, at just 4 months old.  Anthony underwent a cord blood transplant on December 12, 2002.  During his treatment, he received more than 126 blood and platelet transfusions and underwent numerous procedures.  Anthony is now a healthy 8-year-old who attends school full time.  His family hopes that a blood drive in Anthony's honor will help other patients in need.

Stephen Krane, 16, recently suffered a relapse of Ewings sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.  His blood drive falls during the most critical period for blood donations and blood supplies nationwide.  Please consider all of the patients who rely on the community blood supply during late December into early January, especially frequently transfused patients who need rare, antigen-free blood.

To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive,

Please call Toll Free:  1-800-933-2566

Visit:  www.nybloodcenter.org

If you cannot donate but still wish to participate in bringing crucial blood products to patients in need, please consider volunteering at a local blood drive.

Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive.  NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during the summer.  Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.  Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission or consent), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria.  People over 75 may donate with a doctor's note.

About New York Blood Center:  New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to hospitals serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank.  NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine. Please visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/newyorkbloodcenter.  Follow us on Twitter: @NYBloodCenter.    

Contact:  Leslie Gonzalez

Lgonzalez2@nybloodcenter.org

212-570-3304  Office

646-342-3038  Mobile

***Patient photos available***



SOURCE New York Blood Center



RELATED LINKS

http://www.nybloodcenter.org