Blood Donors Fight Cancer

erase-cancerMore cancer treatments are becoming available locally, so it’s extremely important that the blood products necessary to support patients undergoing those treatments are readily available.  We hope everyone donating in October will take a minute to visit with our staff about automated donation on our Trima machines, and look into whether your platelet count and veins make you suitable for it.

Automated donation is the only way we can collect platelets for patient transfusion. Platelet use for patient care is up 3 fold for local cancer patients, so we look forward to discussing automated donation with you this month!

cancer-treatmentCancer patients need not only platelets, but red cells and plasma as well. According to an article in the January 2015 issue of Cancer Control entitled Transfusion Indications for Patients with Cancer, blood cancers like leukemia (hematological malignancies) use around 34% of the red blood cell supply, and anemia may occur in 90% of patients during chemotherapy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, low blood cell counts can lead to very serious complications during cancer treatments, which may delay ongoing treatments. The most-serious complications of low blood cell counts include infections, anemia, and bleeding. Red blood cells, plasma and platelets may be needed to help the cancer patient overcome these complications so that cancer fighting treatments can continue.

Cancer-related causes of low blood cell counts include:

  • Chemotherapy drugs can damage the bone marrow, the spongy material found in bones that makes blood cells.
  • Radiation therapy to large areas of the body and especially to the large bones that contain the most bone marrow, may cause low levels of red and white blood cells.
  • Cancers of the blood and bone marrow, such as leukemia, grow in the bone marrow and don’t allow normal blood cells to develop.
  • Cancers that spread, or metastasize, because cells have broken off a tumor can end up in the bone marrow and displace other cells there, making it difficult to produce blood cells.

We all know someone who has been through cancer and needed these treatments.  Let’s work together to ensure the platelets, plasma and red cells necessary for the fight against cancer are on the shelf to save lives.

Rusty’s Pizza Month

Rusty's GirlDid you know October is National Pizza Month? What better way to celebrate than by picking up a coupon for a free individual cheese or pepperoni pizza when you save lives with us this month.

 Rusty’s Pizza is a long time supporter of blood donation in our community. Our friends at Rusty’s provide coupons for a free individual cheese or pepperoni pizza to each donor in the months of January, April, July, and October each year. The coupons are good at any of Rusty’s nine convenient locations.This is an amazing commitment to recognizing our blood donors unmatched in the industry!

Rustys-LogoSince its beginning, Rusty’s has been involved in the community with a strong emphasis on children through school programs and youth organizations. Student blood donors also get the individual pizza coupons at school blood drives all year. We appreciate Rusty’s sense of community and support of blood donation. Thank you Rusty’s Pizza!

Donor of the Month: Debbie Hallum

debbie-hallum-2Debbie Hallum is a dedicated donor with over 10 gallons of blood donated here at Houchin.  Debbie’s journey as a donor began in 1997 when she and her husband first came in to donate in hopes of getting a cool themed T-shirt. Since then, Debbie has donated consistently along with her husband Charlie, who is a 6 galloneer – what a terrific duo!

Last year Debbie lost her father. He was short of reaching his 12 gallon milestone before he developed cancer. As a tribute to her father, Debbie appealed to debbies-collagefriends and family to make up the last 6 pints her father needed to hit the 12 gallon donation mark. She had each donor send her a selfie of their wrapped arm, which she made into a great collage shown here. To honor this effort, we presented Debbie with the 12 gallon license plate frame her father wanted to earn.

Debbie recalls how before she began donating blood she used to be scared of needles but she got over her fear because she knew how much of a difference she could make, as her own mother once required 13 pints of blood in one go. She says, “Only 3% of the population give blood but 100% could one day use it.”

During her free time, Debbie enjoys spending time with friends, celebrating birthdays, and going on wine tours. Debbie is truly an example to follow and this is why she is October’s Donor of the Month! Congratulations, Debbie, see you at our donor center, soon!


BBSI Sponsors Treat

save-livesWe vampires are at it again:  “Ve Vant your blood” in October! Thanks to the Executives’ Association of Kern County (EAKC) there is a drawing for a $500 shopping spree at Home Depot courtesy of Barrett Business Services, Inc., or BBSI. It’s not at all scary to enter to win this great Home Depot gift card. Just donate blood, platelets, or plasma at either of our donor centers or most mobile drives anytime in October. Be sure to fill in an entry blank to get in on this treat drawing!

BBSI has served small and medium-sized businesses in the greater Bakersfield area since 2005, by providing payroll services, as well as human resources, workers compensation, safety and risk management consulting.  According to the company:

“We are providers of Business Management Solutions for small businesses. We deliver expertise, guidance and tactical support that allow owners to run their business more effectively. In order to do that, we operate under a unique business model; we combine the tools-based approach of human resource outsourcing with the knowledge-based approach of professional management consulting to create an integrated management platform. This platform helps our clients leverage their internal resources more effectively to operate with maximum efficiency.”

To learn more or speak with a BBSI professional call 661-377-1060 and ask for Jeff or Patrick.