The importance of blood donations to cancer patients

(WZAW) -- Patients fighting cancer need nearly one quarter of the nation's blood supply, and there simply aren't enough people donating regularly to meet the ongoing need.

Source: AP

To help meet this need, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society have announced a new partnership called "Give Blood to Give time" to raise awareness about the importance of blood donations and how to help patients fight cancer.

Gail McGovern is the president and CEO of the American Red Cross. She joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 via satellite on Tuesday to talk about the initiative.

"One in three people is going to be diagnosed with cancer. Everybody knows somebody who's battled this disease and we would like to have regular donors be there so that they can help with the battle against cancer," McGovern said.

She added that blood donations help cancer patients by providing antibodies, proteins and clotting factors, when their blood gets compromised during chemotherapy treatments.

"It's life-saving blood that they need in order to fight the good fight."

McGovern is also a two-time breast cancer survivor. She said this partnership is something that she's passionate about.

"Not only am I a cancer survivor, but my husband is too. He was bombarded with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and he needed blood transfusions," she said. "As a spouse you feel so terrified and so helpless, and you don't know what you can do. But there is something you can do. You can donate blood."

For more information or to schedule an appointment to give blood where you live, visit