Thursday, September 11, 2008

Albuquerque "platelet party"

Last weekend there was a blood drive in Albuquerque, organized by my mom and her friends, to encourage people to donate platelets. Platelet transfusions are frequently required by people undergoing stem cell transplants (they can require up to 120 units of platelets) or by people who have certain types of blood cancers (I've had 2 transfusions already), so it's the next best way to help someone in need if you've already signed up with the national bone marrow registry. Unlike red blood cells, platelets can only be stored for a few days, so the blood bank is constantly in need of them.

It sounds like the drive was a wild success! Here's an update from one of the organizers:
Final count was 17 units of platelets and 4 of whole blood! Evelyn was saying how timely this was because some of the blood centers in LA were closed because of the hurricane and therefore there was a serious deficit for the week. And even better news, several said they would consider donating more often, so it was a good awareness raising event as well.

Love the t-shirts -- we printed out the photo of the 5 of you to hang on the wall -- near the mountains of food! I think I gained a couple of pounds sampling all the goodies the members brought!

Want to get a thank you article to the newsletter tonight.

So keep your spirits up -- you've got a lot of people rooting for you.

To put it in perspective, it takes 4 full donations of whole blood to make 1 unit of platelets. Another benefit of donating platelets directly is that they can be donated more frequently than whole blood, up to 2 times per week versus once every few months.

Great job guys!!

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