The letters you see missing here may not seem like a big deal. But the letters A, B and O make up our main blood groups. And for a patient in the hospital needing blood, it’s everything.
Only 3 out of 100 Americans donate blood, yet every two seconds someone needs it. Fewer people are donating blood to help patients. You can change that by joining the international Missing Types movement and fill in the missing blood types.
“Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.” Donating blood makes a big difference in the lives of others, and it has made a huge difference in mine and my family’s.
The American Red Cross and their blood services division have always been a huge part of my life. Twenty-three years ago, I was born eight weeks prematurely with a condition known as Erythroblastosis Fetalis, a disorder that severely impacts a baby’s ability to regenerate red blood cells as quickly as they are destroyed. I required a four-week stay in the Neonatal ICU and three whole blood transfusions just to have a chance at survival. This was a difficult and arduous time for my family, but thanks to the generosity of blood donors like you and the Red Cross, we were able to come out of it on the other side stronger than ever. Little did our family know though, that six years later we would be facing the same fear and hardships with the birth of my baby sister. Again, the Red Cross saved the day and saved the life of my little sister with their blood.
Without volunteer blood donors, our story might have had a different ending. Less than 38% of the population is eligible to donate blood, and only about 3% of people who are age-eligible to donate, do so yearly. These statistics are jarring and it’s no wonder why we are constantly facing blood shortages nationwide. Please help me reach my goal of 100 donations, and ensure that patients receive the life saving blood they need. Make and keep an appointment to give blood to the American Red Cross today.
Don’t forget to tag @unm_MissWestCoast on Instagram and hashtag #UNMgivesblood, #USANationalMissWestCoast, and #MissingTypes when sharing photos or posts of you donating blood!