Platelet Donations Help Fight Cancer

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 1:30pm
RPCI Donor Center Recruiter

If a family member or friend is going through cancer treatment at Roswell Park, you may find yourself looking for a way to become actively involved. There are many great ways to assist in your loved one’s fight against cancer, but at The Donor Center at Roswell Park, we believe one of the very best is by donating your time and platelets.

In addition to whole blood donations (i.e., a typical blood draw that lasts about 45 minutes), the Donor Center at Roswell Park also collects platelets. Platelets help form clots, so those who may be most at risk of bleeding, such as those battling leukemia or those in need of a bone marrow transplant, benefit greatly from platelet donations.

Acquired through a process called apheresis, platelets are vital to patients who are receiving chemotherapy and transfusions allow them to continue with their treatments.

Unlike whole blood donations, which require an exact blood type match from donor to recipient, platelets can be designated to a patient of your choice without a problem. In other words, if a loved one is undergoing treatment at Roswell Park and is in need of platelets, you may make a donation in their name regardless of your blood type.

You may donate platelets up to 24 times per year. Each donation lasts between 90 minutes to two hours in duration, but we provide comfortable recliners, televisions, a wireless network and refreshments for our donors.

For an inspiring first-hand perspective about the impact of platelet donations, I highly recommend watching our donor testimonials. Further discussion can found in a recent edition of Roswellness Radio featuring The Donor Center’s Maria Turner and one of our platelet donors. Additional information can also be found in our semi-annual publication, Lifelines.

January is National Blood Donor Appreciation month, and as sign of gratitude, we are giving away RPCI Donor Center coffee mugs to each person who donates through the end of the month. Even if you don’t have a specific patient in mind for a donation, please consider visiting us to give platelets or whole blood. Rest assured that each donation made at The Donor Center stays in house, whether it is directed or not.

We truly value each person who donates on behalf of our patients. Their dedication to our donor program is truly inspiring. Remember, a little time spent in the Donor Center can mean a lifetime to a patient at Roswell Park.

If you’re interested in becoming a donor, you may call us at 716-845-8275 or visit our website for more information. The Donor Center at Roswell Park is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.