FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Doctors say life-threatening blood cancers are on the rise.
Patients are only able to get a second chance through a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
"With bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients, some very specific matching has to be done in order for it to be compatible," says Central California Blood Center President and CEO Christopher Staub. "The more blood donors we have from the community, the more opportunity we have to work with a group like Be The Match."
The Central California Blood Center works with Be The Match during the transplant patient's recovery process.
"In that interim time, which could be weeks or months, the patient needs to have blood cells," Staub said. "Platelets and red blood cells are transfused, and that's where we come in at Central California Blood Center."
When someone donates at the Blood Center, their blood donation could go to a transplant patient being helped by Be The Match.
"Their recovery period, which could be several months, requires anywhere from two to four red blood cell transfusions and four to six platelet transfusions," Staub said. "With stem cells, it's even more."
That's a large amount of blood for only a month.
Staub says this growing need is happening when the Central Valley - and nation - is experiencing a blood shortage due to a lack of donors.
"Only about 3% of healthy, eligible people in the community donate blood," he said.
Staub encourages those eligible to share their blood because it can save a life.
"It takes about literally 10 minutes to donate a pint of blood," he said. "It feels like a pinch. If you can pinch your arm, then you can donate blood."
The Blood Center also helps Be The Match get people registered.
If you're interested in joining the "Be the Match" registry follow the link and begin the registration process.
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