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National shortage in Type O blood; local blood drive on Friday

KMTV partners with The American Red Cross to hold blood drive Friday, June 11
Posted at 6:32 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 19:44:29-04

OMAHA, NE (KMTV) — There is always a need for blood and platelet donations, but now it is even more important as the American Red Cross is at emergency levels of Type O blood nationwide.

National shortage in Type O blood; local blood drive on Friday

"My son Abe over here, he has one of the rarest blood disorders worldwide. It is called Fanconi Anemia, one in every 160,000 people are diagnosed with this. It mainly affects the bone marrow, and about a month ago we found out that he is currently in bone marrow failure. So his blood levels have been dropping, he gets platelets bi-weekly now," said Nikki Hill, Abe's mom.

There is a huge need for blood donations to help out people like Abe. If you're worried about donating post-COVID vaccine, don't be. You can still donate, as long as you have no symptoms and know which vaccine you received.

"So, especially for people like Abe, who is O+ and gets platelet donations all the time, it's something that we all really need to think about going and donating whether it's platelets, or just donating blood because we need all blood types right now, especially O+ and O-," said Katie Tellus, Donor Recruitment for The American Red Cross.

Donating blood takes less than 30 minutes, but can have an impact on many lives.

"With what's going on with his bone marrow and with his blood levels, I can't protect him from that. The only thing that can protect him is the blood, so for any blood donor, you guys are protecting my son, so thank you," said Hill.

KMTV is partnering with the American Red Cross and holding a blood drive, where you have the opportunity to win Lancers hockey tickets. There also doesn't necessarily need to be a blood drive in order for you to donate blood.

The blood drive will be held on Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at two locations. One at the Ralston Arena and the other in Council Bluffs at the Holiday Inn connected to the Ameristar Casino off I-29. The Red Cross has a goal of more than 400 units of donated blood.

For those who donate, Abe has a special message for you.

"Thank you so much. Thank you so much," said Abe.

He is also in need of a bone marrow donor. You can find out if you are his life-saving match by simply doing a cheek swab. On Monday, June 21, you can go to Glenwood High School from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. to take the test or to get more information on becoming a donor.

Related:

Iowa boy with fanconi anemia in need of donor

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