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Shalina Spurlock donates platelets every two to three weeks at our Christiana Donor Center because she knows how much they help cancer patients.

You see, Shalina’s mother survived breast cancer and has been cancer free for 14 years.

“When it comes to platelets, I figure the minimal discomfort I feel is nothing in comparison to chemotherapy and radiation,” said Shalina, who just donated on September 29.

Indeed, chemotherapy and radiation can destroy red blood cells and thrombocytes. That means cancer patients regularly need transfusions of red cells and platelets as crucial parts of their treatments.

According to America’s Blood Centers, most blood products are used for people being treated for cancer, organ transplants, blood disorders, orthopedic surgeries and cardiovascular surgeries. In the United States, 31,000 pints of blood are used every day. Locally, it takes 350 donors per day to fill the needs of Delmarva hospitals.

Every October we observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, to that end, we thank donors like Shalina and others who ensure those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments have the red cells and platelets they need regularly.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there is a 13 percent chance of breast cancer occurring among American women, making it second only to skin cancer.

To join the fight against cancer, please give blood or platelets. Call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit click here.