Press Releases

Blood Donations Critical in Fight Against Cancer
Feb 10, 2020
Nearly One-Quarter of the Nation's Blood Supply is Needed for Cancer Patients
The American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society come together to encourage people to #GiveBloodtoGiveTime

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society announced their Give Blood to Give Time partnership to raise awareness on how blood donations help patients fighting cancer.

Chemotherapy and radiation, used to treat cancer, can damage the body's ability to generate healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Blood transfusions from generous donors help to provide patients with critical clotting factors, proteins and antibodies needed to help their bodies fight back.

"The need for blood in cancer treatments is an important and untold story," said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. "The American Cancer Society is excited to be working with the Red Cross on Give Blood to Give Time. Through this partnership, we want people to know there are multiple ways they can help and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families."

"The Give Blood to Give Time partnership is a wonderful opportunity to harness the unique strengths of both organizations and provide a way for people to help give patients and their families the resources they need to fight back," said Gail McGovern, president and chief executive officer of the American Red Cross. "I know from experience that a loved one's diagnosis can make family and friends feel helpless. They often don't realize that individuals can make a difference by giving blood and platelets."

To schedule a blood donation appointment or make a financial gift, visit to give patients and their families time, resources and the hope needed to fight back.  

Give Blood to Give Time is a meaningful way to honor a loved one who is battling or has battled cancer.  There are three ways to give to help cancer patients in need today:

  • Donate blood to the American Red Cross to provide lifesaving blood products to cancer patients when they need it.
  • Give a financial gift to the American Cancer Society to support its comprehensive approach to attacking cancer that includes breakthrough research, free rides to treatment, free lodging near hospitals and a live 24/7 helpline.
  • Give a financial gift to the American Red Cross to support the collection and distribution of lifesaving blood products to cancer patients in need.

The Red Cross and American Cancer Society appreciate the support of Merck Pharmaceuticals which has joined the Give Blood to Give Time partnership. 

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification that 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 general good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: American Cancer Society: (404) 417-5860; American Red Cross Media:, (202) 303-5551