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Donate blood with the Red Cross to help those fighting cancer: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In August 2016, Myel Bowers-Smith went to the doctor for what she thought was a breast infection for a mosquito bite after a vacation in Cancun. Instead, she received the devastating diagnosis – she had stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer, a very rare and aggressive breast carcinoma. Bowers-Smith, a U.S. Army veteran, committed to fighting for her life. “Once I began fighting, I knew I had to remain strong,” she said. Her aggressive care plan included five different chemotherapy treatments and steroids.
     Like many patients with cancer, Bower-Smith needed multiple blood product transfusions. Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, more than half of all platelets collected by the Red Cross are used by patients with cancer.
     After months of treatments, in August 2017, Bowers-Smith celebrated the news that her cancer was in remission. Today, she enjoys sharing her story and encouraging others by donating blood or platelets.“
     Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are needed to ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall.
     Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Groton 10/21/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Union Congregational Church, 220 Main Street
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