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A Thanksgiving Message From New York Blood Center
Date:11/13/2008

Your blood donation will save lives this holiday season

NEW YORK, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As we approach Thanksgiving, "black Friday" and the holiday season, New York Blood Center (NYBC) calls upon the community to please remember the children and families whose lives are stricken by diagnoses that require frequent blood transfusions for recovery and survival. Among these diseases are: Leukemia and other forms of cancer, thalassemia and aplastic anemias, sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other diseases for which there is no universal cure.

Please take a moment from the holiday shuffle to donate blood. Winter holidays are a time when blood supply decreases while emergency needs remain the same. It is also a time when it becomes more difficult to find precise blood matches for those that are very sick.

The autumn celebration in late 1621 that became known as "The First Thanksgiving" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving) is described by historians as a solemn ceremony of praise and thanks. Today, we are thankful for and recognize those who are alive today due to the selfless giving of blood donors. These people have survived to share Thanksgiving and the holiday season in the company of family and friends. They describe themselves as truly blessed:

Matthew Long is a firefighter who was critically injured when he was struck and pinned by a charter bus while riding his bike to work. He received 68 blood transfusions in the first 24 to 48 hours following his accident.

"Family, friends and strangers came, stepped up to the plate, and donated blood. For that I say thank you. You saved my life," said Long, who returned to the New York City Marathon on November 2 and finished the race.

Rina Evans is happy to celebrate the holidays with her daughter, Ariana, who was born prematurely at only 29 weeks. Blood transfusions helped sustain her daughter's health until she reached a safe weight and development to come home.

"I'm just so blessed that I have my daughter here. I just want to say Thank You to everybody that donated blood. I'm so grateful," Evans said.

Still, some continue to wait patiently for a blood donor who is a compatible match for them, and wonder if this holiday season will be their last. People with a rare blood type and others who require frequent transfusions may develop, over time, antibodies in their blood. This requires more and more precisely-matched red cell transfusions to avoid a negative reaction. More multicultural blood donors are also needed, to maintain a diverse inventory of compatible blood.

We urge the public to please call 1-800-933-BLOOD or visit http://www.nybloodcenter.org to schedule an appointment to donate blood this holiday season. It is easy to get consumed by holiday shopping and arrangements, but the person who is fighting for his or her life is counting on YOU to give the ultimate gift - the gift of life.

We thank every individual blood donor and the wide variety of organizations that sponsor blood drives throughout the busy and often distracting holiday season.

To donate blood or to sponsor a blood drive, please call

Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566

Visit: http://www.nybloodcenter.org

All 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 consent (in NY) or 17 (in NJ), 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. Inquiries are also welcomed from organizations who would like to schedule a blood drive.

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 patients in greater New York since 1964. 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 and transfusion medicine physicians.

CONTACT: Leslie Gonzalez

212-570-3304 (office)

646-342-3038 (mobile)

Lgonzalez2@nybloodcenter.org


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SOURCE New York Blood Center
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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