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Save lives

Many cancer patients depend on blood transfusions and bone-marrow transplants to survive. In fact, the American Red Cross indicates that more than 80 percent of cancer patients use blood products in their treatments.

Lavelle Pinkett is one of them. The Washington resident has been diagnosed with leukemia and his treatment is dependent upon a bone marrow transplant.

Pinkett is unique in that he is a mobile unit assistant with the blood services unit of the American Red Cross. He drives the bloodmobile to blood drives and processes the blood once it is collected.

“I’ve been with the Red Cross for six years, and he’s been sick the whole time,” said Kasey Shue, donor-recruitment coordinator with the American Red Cross. “The one thing that stands out is that he has leukemia and does not miss work. That just amazes me.”

In an effort to help Pinkett and others, the Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross is hosting a special blood drive from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wal-Mart in Washington.

Also in attendance will be representatives from the National Marrow Donor Program — Be The Match — performing tests for anyone wishing to see if he or she is a match or to register as a possible donor.

Pinkett’s work helps others survive and this might be our best chance to return the favor.

Please take a moment Saturday to consider donating blood and registering as a potential bone-marrow donor.