The American Red Cross is calling on blood and platelet donors to make and keep blood or platelet donation appointments to help prevent a shortage that could disrupt patient care.

One in 7 patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion. Give now to ensure blood products are available for those living with sickle cell disease, people with cancer, accident victims or new mothers like Dez Dearborn.

“On Jan. 21, 2022, at 10:43 p.m., my husband and I welcomed a healthy baby boy via [cesarean] section,” shared Dearborn. “After the surgery, we were moved back to recovery to bond with our baby – but I remember very little beyond this point.

“Unbeknownst to my husband and me, an artery was damaged during my C-section, and I experienced severe internal bleeding throughout the night. By the time anyone realized what was going on, I had lost almost two liters of blood into my abdomen.

“What could have been a tragic ending to my story is now a story of triumph because I woke up on Jan. 22, 2022, due to a lifesaving emergency hysterectomy. Equally important to the surgery were the multiple units of blood I received from the American Red Cross when I was most vulnerable.

“When a person needs blood, time is not on their side. They cannot wait for the hospital to try to find it elsewhere if there’s a shortage; there are no synthetic substitutes. You cannot accept a blood type that you are not compatible with, and you also can’t get a donation from someone on the spot and turn it into usable blood for a transfusion. Had the hospital been unable to find blood for me at the very moment I needed it, I would not be here today.”

A year later, Dearborn is now an advocate for donations. “I’m asking you to donate if you are able. Just one hour of your time could save more than one life – and I am forever thankful to be one of those lives saved by donations from the American Red Cross.”

Don’t wait – make your appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In thanks for stepping up to help meet the need, all who come to give in February will receive a $10 Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon. Everyone who comes to donate will also be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Clearwater Beach, Florida, including a three-night hotel stay, round-trip airfare, a $750 gift card and more. Details are available at