During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood or platelets to provide hope and healing to patients fighting cancer.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and more than 268,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
In August 2016, Myel Bowers-Smith went to the doctor for what she thought was a breast infection for a mosquito bite after a vacation in Cancun. Instead, she received the devastating diagnosis – she had stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer, a very rare and aggressive breast carcinoma. Bowers-Smith, a U.S. Army veteran, committed to fighting for her life. “Once I began fighting, I knew I had to remain strong,” she said. Her aggressive care plan included five different chemotherapy treatments and steroids.
Like many patients with cancer, Bower-Smith needed multiple blood product transfusions. Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, more than half of all platelets collected by the Red Cross are used by patients with cancer.
After months of grueling treatments, in August 2017, Bowers-Smith celebrated the news that her cancer was in remission. Today, she enjoys sharing her story and encouraging others to be a blessing by donating blood or platelets. “Eligible donors, you have something good – which is your blood. A pint of blood can help save lives.”
Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are needed to ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see rcblood.org/game.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct. 16-31:
Blue Earth
Mankato
10/17/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hy-Vee Hilltop, 2010 Adams St.
10/24/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Red Cross Chapter, 105 Homestead Drive
10/28/2019: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.
10/31/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., MN Department of Transportation-State Patrol, 2151 Bassett Drive
10/31/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.
10/31/2019: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., National Guard Training & Community Center, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
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Brown
Sleepy Eye
10/29/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sleepy Eye Medical Center, 400 4th Ave. NW
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Carver
Chanhassen
10/29/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Living Christ Lutheran Church, 820 Lake Drive
Chaska
10/17/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Christ Victorious Lutheran Church, 9860 Shady Oak Drive
10/21/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Chaska VFW, 620 Creek Road
Waconia
10/17/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Southview Elementry School, 225 W. Fourth St.
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Dodge
Dodge Center
10/24/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion, 401 Highway St. W.
Kasson
10/25/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Anytime Fitness, 110 W. Main St.
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Faribault
Blue Earth
10/25/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Hope United Methodist Church, 12080 380th Ave.
Kiester
10/22/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Center, Highway 22
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Fillmore
Mabel
10/21/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion, 114 N. Main St.
Preston
10/23/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., F&M Community Bank, 100 Saint Anthony St. N.
Rushford
10/16/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., MiEnergy Cooperative, 31110 Cooperative Way
Spring Valley
10/22/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Kingsland High School, 705 N. Section Ave.
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Freeborn
Albert Lea
10/28/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, 411 S. Broadway Ave.
10/29/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Riverland Community College, 2200 Riverland Drive
Alden
10/28/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Alden Conger High School, 215 N. Broadway
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Goodhue
Red Wing
10/31/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., USG, 27384 US-61
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Houston
La Crescent
10/22/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., La Crescent Area Events Center, 595 Veterans Parkway
Spring Grove
10/17/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fest Building, 110 N. Division
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Le Sueur
Waterville
10/30/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Waterville Elementary School, 500 E. Paquin
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Martin
Truman
10/28/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Truman High School, 401 E. 1st St. S.
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Mower
Austin
10/18/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cedars of Austin, 700 1st Drive NW
10/21/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Our Saviors Lutheran, 1600 W. Oakland Ave.
10/22/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Saviors Lutheran, 1600 W. Oakland Ave.
10/23/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Our Saviors Lutheran, 1600 W. Oakland Ave.
10/31/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Saviors Lutheran Church, 1600 W. Oakland Ave.
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Nicollet
Mankato
10/25/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Police Annex, 1001 Belgrade Ave.
North Mankato
10/18/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Concordia Classical Academy, 2101 LorRay Drive
10/24/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 546 Grant Ave.
St. Peter
10/30/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Scholarship America, 1 Scholarship Way
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Rice
Faribault
10/26/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Faribault Harley Davidson, 2704 W. Airport Drive
Northfield
10/21/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., NAFRS (Northfield Area Fire & Rescue), 301 5th St. W.
10/24/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 500 3rd St. W.
10/28/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Olaf College, Buntrock Commons – Lion’s Pause Mane Stage, 1520 St. Olaf Ave.
10/29/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Carleton College, 300 North College St.
10/29/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Olaf College, Buntrock Commons – Lion’s Pause Mane Stage, 1520 St. Olaf Ave.
10/30/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Carleton College, 300 North College St.
10/30/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Olaf College, Buntrock Commons – Lion’s Pause Mane Stage, 1520 St. Olaf Ave.
10/31/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Carleton College, 300 North College St.
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Scott
Savage
10/24/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Glendale United Methodist Ch, 13550 Glendale Road
Shakopee
10/24/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Family Video, 1260 4th Ave. E.
10/29/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Minnesota Correctional Facility, 1010 W. 6th Ave.
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Sibley
Henderson
10/21/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Altona Colony, 35227 290th St.
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Steele
Owatonna
10/16/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Buffalo Wild Wings, 1100 Frontage Road
10/18/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Famous Dave’s, 4355 W. Frontage Road
10/21/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Driessen Culligan, 110 W. Fremont St.
10/28/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 609 S. Lincoln Ave.
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Wabasha
Kellogg
10/25/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., The Front Porch Bar & Grill, 100 N. Sheppard St.
Plainview
10/30/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Plainview Elgin Millville High School, 500 W. Broadway
Wabasha
10/29/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., VFW, 138 Second St.
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Waseca
Waseca
10/25/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Family Video, 1101 2nd St. NE
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Watonwan
Madelia
10/29/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Madelia High School, 320 Buck Ave. SE
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Winona
Winona
10/30/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., WKM Professional Building, 902 E. 2nd St.
10/31/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, 120 E. 2nd St.
10/31/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Winona Mason Lodge #18, 926 W. 5th
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.