DENVER (KDVR) — With a nationwide blood shortage, the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver is launching a year-long blood drive in connection with Vitalant. CBCI is also celebrating 30 years of helping patients.
Vitalant says in Colorado the pandemic has forced the cancellation of 133 of its blood drives, and in the past year, 100,000 fewer people have donated blood compared to the year before.
Blood and blood product donations mean a lot to blood cancer patients like Nev Pires. He’s doing better now but had a tough couple of years fighting leukemia. He suffered a heart attack, had grueling treatments and then received an allogeneic stem cell transplant this year. Throughout the process he realized just how important blood donation is to patients like him.
“The hemoglobin and platelets have just been absolutely vital to my survival,” Pires said.
Unfortunately, this shortage of blood and blood products has forced local centers to take action.
“We’ve had a severe shortage and we’ve had to look outside of our normal supply to get the resources that our patients need. So, it is very much felt,” Dr. Michael Tees at the CBCI said.
“Blood cancer patients require multiple blood transfusions and blood product transfusions which includes platelets and clotting factors as well to help support them through their therapies,” Tees said.
CBCI is now launching a year-long blood drive in connection with Vitalant hoping to raise awareness.
Pires hopes that people will make blood donation a routine part of their lives.
“It’s going to make such a big impact in someone else’s life,” he said.
Go to the Vitalant portal to register to donate.