Googler David Spangenthal shared his daughter Sophie’s story as the spur that led him to find a blood drive nearby to ensure the availability of a blood pool as and when required. And what better occasion than to formally announce the start of the drive on June 14, marked as World Blood Donor Day?
Back in November 2016, Sophie was diagnosed with Pleuropulmonary Blastoma ( a very rare type of pediatric cancer in the lungs), which requires regular transfusions of Types A and O blood to increase her red blood count for the sake of her health. Oncological patients need these types of blood for their treatment, making it a dire necessity for all hospitals to have a pool of these blood types ready at hand 24*7.
Moreover, given that blood has a short shelf life of 28 days, the hospitals have to continuously replenish the blood supply to cater to blood transfusion requirements for the patients.
A patient looking for blood supply will never be refused by the hospital, but it is often a tough task to maintain the blood supply, given that blood donors are not regular finds.
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In this context, families like David Spangenthal often need to step in, taking up the initiative to host blood drives to fill the gaps between the demand and supply of blood types, to suit the needs of one patient to another.
This is why June 14, World Blood Donor Day is to be a special day as Spangenthal has announced that Google has joined hands and is collaborating with The American Red Cross to encourage more and more people to donate blood.
To this end, the Red Cross is using Google Maps Platform (which has been synced and configured accordingly) to help people find and locate a nearby blood bank or blood drive happening this weekend and contribute to the drive. Every single donation is significant as it has the potential to save the lives of 3 people, people like Sophie. For more details, one can visit the Red Cross site to enter the zip code and accordingly plan the donation.
Following the recent session of Chemotherapy in May, Sophie needed several blood transfusions for her recovery, and so Spangenthal reached out to the Google family for more donations to meet her needs. Given that he was an organizer of Google New York’s regularly planned blood drives, the mass reach-out was spontaneous and just like all the previous instances when he needed more blood donations for his daughter, he wasn’t disappointed in the least. Support came his way immediately, underscoring the immense positive potential of human beings to help the others in times of utmost need such as this as being part of the same community. It takes little effort to help battle diseases like these that require blood transfusions from time-to-time.
So, this is a shout-out to all the healthy and well-meaning people out there on this World Blood Donor Day, to visit the Red Cross site, enter the zip code, look up that nearest blood drive, and make the conscious choice of saving a life.