By Lana Turnbull
For all of our advancements – the medical, scientific and technological breakthroughs man has attained, there is still no substitute for one of the body’s most crucial elements…blood. It ties us all together as human beings, levels the playing field, you might say, because no matter our race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or gender, we all are the same, when it comes to our need for blood.
If we haven’t been personally involved with someone who required a blood transfusion, it’s easy to forget just how critical the need for blood is. But it is estimated that 97 percent of all Americans will need blood at some time in their lives. The next time it might be you or someone you love. That’s why blood donations are so important and we can’t be reminded often enough.
Here are some facts to consider:
• Each year over 2,000,000 people are injured in motor vehicle accidents and more than 75,000 people are hospitalized with severe burn injuries. Without blood donations, many of these victims would be fatality statistics.
• Each year over 45,000,000 surgeries are performed. Without blood donations, many of these surgeries couldn’t be performed.
• Over 44,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year and more than 3,800 of these new cases are under the age of 20. Between the illness and the treatments, many cancer patients need blood and blood products to help them battle the disease. Without blood donations, many do not have a fighting chance.
• Some 70,000 people in the United States have sickle cell disease, and over 1,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease each year. Without blood transfusions, victims of sickle cell disease suffer immense pain and a shortened life expectancy.
This summer between June 6 and August 19, Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) will be promoting its 8th annual Road to Life Blood Drive. Because schools are out, families are on vacations and so many summer activities vie for the public’s attention, blood donations drop dramatically, while the need for blood never diminishes and often rises. People face catastrophic illnesses and traumatic accidents every day of the year. Because there are so many outdoor activities and more people on the road, accidents increase in the summer. It can be a time of critical blood shortages.
MBS is partnering again this year with Howard Wilson Chrysler Jeep Dodge, which will give away a 2016 car to one lucky person who donates during the Road to Life campaign. For more information about donating blood this summer and how you can qualify to win the new vehicle, visit www.msblood.com or contact MBS at (888)90-BLOOD.
A gift of blood for a person in need is not only a precious blessing, but a gift of life like no other. Join Mississippi Blood Services in their campaign, and this summer get on the Road to Life.