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Patients Issue Summer Call to Action: 'We Need You to Donate Blood -- NOW'
Date:8/3/2009

NEW YORK, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Three New York Blood Center (NYBC) patients are taking to the airwaves to recruit new blood donors, and encourage existing blood donors to donate blood NOW. Demand for blood has been very high this summer from the 200 hospitals served by NYBC and its regional operations in New York City, Brooklyn / Staten Island, Long Island, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey. NYBC expects this campaign to help boost current blood supply levels, which are flagging as the summer unfolds.

Here's an overview of the three profiled patients, as featured on the radio campaign starting today:

Stacey Mason-Sotille

Stacey Mason-Sotille, a 37-year old mother of two, was 11 months old when she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. The disease has caused gall bladder disease, pulmonary hypertension and temporary blindness. "I've been in and out of the hospital three to four times a year," Stacey Mason said. "I need the blood provided from the New York Blood Center. Without it, I wouldn't be here and wouldn't be able to share my life with my children."

Matthew Long

Matthew Long, a New York City firefighter and 9-11 hero, was struck by a bus in 2005 and nearly killed. He received 68 units of donated blood. "I've always given blood annually and never thought I would be a recipient of blood. In the past two and a half years, I've had over 40 surgeries, and I'm sure there was blood on hand for each one of them," he said.

Vivian Martinez

Vivian Martinez, 17, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at birth and requires a transfusion of red blood cells every four to five weeks, made possible by the generosity of those who donate blood. "My whole childhood was just disrupted by it... constantly going in and out of the hospital. I had no hope. The moment I first got transfused, I lifted up my hand and it was strong," she said.

Rh-negative blood in particular is needed immediately, but healthy people of all blood types and ethnicities are encouraged to donate now to help make certain that our region is prepared for predictable blood needs and any unexpected contingencies. People with Rh-negative blood, including A-, B- and O-, comprise just 15% of the population yet their blood can be safely transfused to the remaining 85% of the population.

Most notably, people with O-negative blood are known as "universal donors" because their blood can be transfused into anyone. Type O-negative blood is found in just 6 % of the population, but is used more often by patients with other blood types, especially in emergency rooms and trauma situations.

To help neighbors like Stacey, Matthew and Vivian

by donating blood, please call:

Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566

Visit: www.nybloodcenter.org

Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during the summer. Blood 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 permission or consent), 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. People over 75 may donate with a doctor's note.

About New York Blood Center:

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
    lgonzalez2@nybloodcenter.org
    (212) 570-3304  Office
    (646) 342-3038  Mobile


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SOURCE New York Blood Center
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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