Is it just us or does the world just feel especially negative these days? We’ve welcomed February–and the message of love it brings–with open arms. We’re using this month as a reminder to CELEBRATE our differences and LOVE our neighbors. We live and work in one of the most dynamic, diverse communities in the country, and that is such a beautiful thing. We really are all family in Central Texas, and that’s a message we can get behind.
Want to help us spread the word? Check out what we’re doing with our sticker campaign and fill out an order form to get your own free stickers. Remember #WeAreBlood on social media!
New year, new items in the donor store
We’ve been busy restocking our donor store with new items. Everything has officially been updated with our new name, new logo, and new colors. Check them out by logging into your donor portal and start redeeming those points!
World Cancer Day
February 4th was #WorldCancerDay. Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).
Did you know that people with cancer often need blood transfusions? For example:
- Some cancers (especially digestive system cancers) cause internal bleeding, which can lead to anemia from too few red blood cells.
- Blood cells are made in the bone marrow, the spongy center of certain bones. Cancers that start in the bone marrow (such as leukemias) or cancers that spread there from other places may crowd out normal blood-making cells, leading to low blood counts.
- People who have had cancer for some time may develop something called anemia of chronic disease. This anemia results from certain long-term medical conditions that affect the production and lifespan of red blood cells.
- Cancer can also lower blood counts by affecting organs such as the kidneys and spleen, which help keep enough cells in the blood.
Cancer treatments may also lead to the need for blood transfusions:
- Surgery to treat cancer may lead to blood loss and a need for red blood cell or platelet transfusions.
- Most chemotherapy drugs affect cells in the bone marrow. This commonly leads to low blood cell counts, and can sometimes put a person at risk for life-threatening infections or bleeding.
- When radiation is used to treat a large area of the bones, it can affect the bone marrow and lead to low blood cell counts.
- Bone marrow transplant (BMT) or peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT) patients get large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. This destroys the blood-making cells in the bone marrow. These patients often have very low blood cell counts after the procedure and need transfusions.
Please consider becoming a blood donor to help Central Texans with cancer get the life-saving transfusions they so desperately need. And don’t miss last week’s profile of a local cancer patient whose life has depended on blood transfusions. Make sure you go check out his story. #WeCanICan
February is Heart Month. Because heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, we feel passionate about making sure we’re doing our small part to raise awareness and prevent it.
Did you know that any time you donate at We Are Blood, you receive a mini-physical before giving blood, during which your blood pressure and pulse are checked, along with your hematocrit and temperature. You also receive a non-fasting cholesterol test. All test results can be reviewed and tracked on your personal online donor profile.
While 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease, it can often be prevented with healthy choices and management of health conditions. To lower your risk of heart disease, make sure you:
- Watch your weight.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get active and eat healthy.
To learn more about preventing heart disease, check out the America Heart Association webpage or speak with your doctor.