The New Year causes us all to ponder what should be our resolution for New Year. We’ve all made the same resolutions to stop snacking and lose weight, to exercise and be more thrifty. But have you considered making a resolution to donate blood or by indicating on your drivers license that you have made the decision that can save another’s life by being an organ donor?
Giving blood can be as easy as scheduling a blood or platelet donation with the American Red Cross.
January is National Blood Donor Month. Donating blood or platelets is a way to make a lifesaving impact in the new year for patients like Judy Janssen, who was diagnosed with end-stage autoimmune liver disease in 2016. Janssen received frequent blood transfusions – sometimes multiple times a week – until she underwent a liver transplant last January.
“Blood donors make a really big difference with very little effort,” said Janssen, who received dozens of transfusions before and during her transplant surgery. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for blood donations.”
The critical role of blood and platelet donors has been celebrated each January for nearly 50 years during National Blood Donor Month, which coincides with one of the most difficult times to maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients. Busy holiday schedules, extreme winter weather and seasonal illnesses often impact donor turnout this time of year.
The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to resolve to give blood or platelets regularly, beginning in January. To encourage donations immediately, all those who come to donate by Jan. 6 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Another way to help keep the blood supply strong in the new year is to host a Red Cross blood drive. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.