DEAR ABBY: Please alert your readers that blood donation is urgently needed! I am a regular blood donor, and while I personally do not mind needles, I have great admiration for those who are "needle phobic," yet continue to give regularly.
This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our oldest son's bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia. Andrew was only 4 years old when diagnosed. He required twice-weekly platelet transfusions, as well as regular packed cell transfusions before and after his transplant. We are thrilled to report that Andrew sailed through the transplant from his little brother's marrow. However, without blood from his countless volunteers, he would not be with us today.
To all who have never donated, please do. You will not regret it. To those of you who donate regularly, keep up the good work. You are truly God's angels on Earth. -- THANKFUL MOM IN OTTAWA
DEAR THANKFUL MOM: I am pleased to know your son came through with flying colors.
Your letter is a timely one because our nation's blood supply is alarmingly low. In fact, the blood shortage is so severe that in some of our larger cities, elective surgeries have had to be postponed.
Readers: Please give blood TODAY. Advances in medical technology have increased the number of procedures -- such as organ transplants -- that require supplemental blood. The demand has outpaced the national supply.
If every eligible donor would give blood just once a year, the blood shortage would be history. Contact your nearest Red Cross Center by looking in your telephone book or asking the information operator; or call 1-888-256-6388 for the location of your nearest community-focused blood center.