Vitalant seeks 500 blood donors in Valley to replenish supply after holidays

Dec 27, 2023, 4:00 PM

PHOENIX – Start the new year off with a good deed and you’ll get a cheesy reward.

Vitalant will host the Saving Arizona Blood Drive on Jan. 7 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

All donors will leave with a voucher for a 10-inch cheese pizza from Streets of New York. They’ll also get a voucher for a one-day admission to the 2024 WM Phoenix Open.

Hospitals urgently need all blood types, but they’re especially desperate for Type-O blood, which often serves as a substitute for other blood types during medical emergencies.

Currently, donations of Type-O blood are “critically low,” according to a Wednesday announcement from Vitalant.

“Saving Arizona blood donors will help Arizona kids like 7-year-old Braden, who was diagnosed last year with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and a Myeloid Sarcoma in his jaw,” Vitalant’s announcement said. The nonprofit organization also shared a slideshow of Braden’s life to urge donors to supply blood to help children in need.

Braden stayed at a Valley children’s hospital for 189 days, during which he completed chemotherapy. After 30 blood transfusions, officials declared him cancer-free on Thanksgiving of 2022.

What’s so urgent about the Saving Arizona Blood Drive?

“Blood transfusions were a vital part of helping him beat leukemia,” Vitalant announced. “Braden and his family are so thankful for all the heroes who donate blood and help save lives!”

Arizona’s blood supply often dwindles during the holiday season, Vitalant said. Although patients require more transfusions in January than any other month of the year, the 10-day period from Christmas through New Year’s Day mark a yearly low in terms of blood donations.

Heavy traffic on the roads and highways, as well as the business of the holiday season, are common hindrances. That’s why Vitalant partnered with local businesses to encourage more donations. Event leaders hope at least 500 people will participate in the event.

Those who show up will also get a chance to win one of 24 gift cards worth $500.

Hopeful donors can set up an appointment with the Saving Arizona Blood Drive’s website.

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Vitalant seeks 500 blood donors in Valley to replenish supply after holidays