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American Red Cross seeking holiday donors to give life

Blood and platelets wanted due to decrease in donors during holiday season

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DETROIT, Mich – The American Red Cross wants to remind you that emergency doesn't take a holiday as they urgently needs blood and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help ensure patients can get the treatments they need at a moment's notice.

In November 2016, a 100 ft. maple tree fell on Mike McMahon, causing life-threatening injuries. He needed 11 units of blood during emergency surgery and another seven units to treat complications after. Six weeks following the accident, McMahon was released from the hospital – just in time to spend the holidays with his family.

"I'm grateful for the donors who gave me such an amazing gift – the gift of life," said McMahon. "I was an occasional blood donor before the accident. Today, I donate as often as I can to help ensure others receive blood when they need it most."

Now is an important time to give blood and platelets. A seasonal decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel. In addition, severe winter weather can cause blood drive cancellations and negatively affect the blood supply. Patients like McMahon can't afford for there to be a shortage of blood.

Give the gift of life – make an appointment to donate blood and platelets by downloading the American Red Cross Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a special thank you for helping meet the urgent need, those who come to give Dec. 20 through Jan. 6 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)  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 to 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 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that saves lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.