Letter: Save lives by donating blood

Published 8:34 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

There aren’t enough people giving blood through the American Red Cross. In fact, for the past four years, new blood donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. In an effort to reverse that trend, we’ve launched the Missing Types campaign.

To raise awareness for the need for blood donors, businesses, organizations and individuals across the country are joining the Missing Types movement by removing the A’s, B’s and O’s, the main blood groups, from signage, websites and public-facing platforms. The goal of Missing Types is to get people to take notice and take action by donating blood.

Blood donations help people undergoing cancer treatment, those receiving organ transplants, accident victims and other patients. As the executive director of the southeast Minnesota chapter of the Red Cross, I meet so many people whose lives have been impacted, if not saved, by blood transfusions. And I’m not alone. According to recent research conducted on behalf of the Red Cross, nearly 45 percent of the public know someone who has been helped by a blood transfusion. Despite nearly half of us knowing someone who has need donated blood, only 3 percent of the U.S. population donates each year.

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On behalf of the Red Cross, I’m inviting you to fill the missing types by giving blood this summer.

Melanie Tschida

executive director

American Red Cross southeast Minnesota