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Red Cross Blood Donation Shortage

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MEDFORD, Ore. — The America Red Cross is facing a blood shortage as the peak summer season begins.

Red Cross officials said they are down nearly 15,000 donations in the Pacific Northwest.  This shortage is an on-going trend the agency said it’s starting to see every summer.

An estimated forty percent of their donations come from high school and college students during the school year, but when school is out, the Red Cross has to find other donors to fill the gap.

It said the need for blood is constant.  There is no substitute, and so many people need it every day.     Thirty percent of blood donations go to cancer patients.

“Whether they are going through radiation or chemotherapy, or possibly if they have leukemia, they often use blood transfusions, just to help them get healthy enough to have the treatment and/or to keep them alive and healthy until they can get a transplant,” said Christina Martin with Southern Oregon Red Cross.

One place people can go to help replenish the shortage is the Josephine County Relay for Life this weekend.  There will be a blood donation center set up there from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  People can either show up or schedule and appointment online.

The Relay for Life is also accepting participants. It starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday June 28 at Grants Pass High School. Click here to register.