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Consider supporting LifeSouth, Red Cross through challenging time

It seems like one thing we’re always reporting on is blood drives. It’s easy to see why, though, since blood is a constant need – and for a wide range of patients.

My heart sinks when we get the press releases about dwindling supplies and the desperate need for donors to step up and help save a life. I can’t help but be reminded of my 10-year-old self, in cancer treatments at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

I don’t know the number of blood and platelet transfusions I received throughout my months of treatment at both ETCH in Knoxville, Tenn., and Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., – but it was a lot. More than a hundred, with no exaggeration.

There’s no way of knowing how many people’s blood coursed into my vein to keep me alive through three rounds of chemo therapy and a bone marrow transplant. There’s no knowing that number – but one thing I do know if what would likely have happened to me without those life-giving donations.

I don’t think I have to spell it out for you.

Cancer isn’t stopping because of the coronavirus, and neither are car wrecks, pregnancies, house fires or natural disasters. That’s why neither can blood donations.

I’ve never been able to give blood, given my medical history, but I’m certainly among the many grateful recipients. I applaud all those who take the time out of their days to make such a worthy donation – a donation anybody can give, regardless of their wealth or status in the world, as long as they are healthy, and make a difference.

So, just putting this out there: In the midst of your social distancing, hand washing, cough covering and toilet paper searching, consider adding “donate blood” to your pandemic to-do list.

There are those who can’t do without it.