Patients fighting cancer need more blood than patients fighting any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply, according to the American Cancer Society and American Red Cross. That’s why this February, the two organizations have teamed up to encourage people across the country to Give Blood to Give Time, ensuring loved ones have the strength and support to battle cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. An estimated 20,300 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Connecticut this year. Many of these people will likely have a need for blood.

“A loved one’s cancer diagnosis often makes families and friends feel helpless,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer, American Red Cross. “That’s why the Give Blood to Give Time partnership with the American Cancer Society is so important. When someone donates blood or platelets or makes a financial gift, they are helping to give patients and their families time, resources and the hope they need to fight back.”

To schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment or make a financial gift, visit GiveBloodToGiveTime.org.

The next blood donation opportunity in Shelton will be Friday, Feb. 21, from 1-6 p.m., at the Shelton Community Center, 41 Church St.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.