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December 2007 Off the Wire . . .

 

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  RED CROSS NOW ACCEPTS BLOOD DONTATIONS FROM PEOPLE WITH MS
 


  RED CROSS NOW ACCEPTS BLOOD DONATIONS FROM PEOPLE WITH MS

  FOR YEARS, SARAH BUCKBEE REGULARLY DONATED BLOOD TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
  BUT AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH MS IN 2001, SHE WAS DEVASTATED TO HEAR THEY
  WOULD NO LONGER ACCEPT HER DONATIONS.
  "THE MEDICATIONS I HAD TO LIST ON THE QUESTIONNAIRE TRIGGERED QUESTIONS
  ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE FOR," BUCKBEE SAID. "I WAS GIVEN A FORM LETTER TELLING
  ME I HAD BEEN DEFERRED FROM DONATING DUE TO HAVING AN 'AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE OF
  UNKNOWN ORIGIN.'" SHE ADDED, "I LEFT THE PLACE IN TEARS."
  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT MS IS CONTAGIOUS OR CAN BE
  TRANSMITTED VIA BLOOD, AND TWO YEARS AGO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS QUIETLY
  CHANGED THEIR POLICY. NOW PEOPLE WITH MS "WHO ARE HEALTHY AND WELL ON THE
  DAY OF DONATION" WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THE AMERICAN RED CROSS, SAID STEPHANIE
  MILLIAN, DIRECTOR OF BIOMEDICAL COMMUNICATION. SHE ADDED THAT "MOST
  MEDICATIONS TAKEN FOR CHRONIC CONDITIONS WILL NOT DISQUALIFY A DONOR."
  AS FOR SARAH BUCKBEE, SHE HAS AN APPOINTMENT TO DONATE, "IF THEY'LL LET ME,
  SINCE I'VE BEEN TO SOUTH AFRICA IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS," SHE ADDED. (THE
  AMERICAN RED CROSS REQUIRES A DEFERRAL FOR ONE YEAR IF SOMEONE HAD TRAVELED
  TO AN AREA AT RISK FOR MALARIA.)
  "AT LEAST MY MS IS NO LONGER THE REASON I CAN'T GIVE BLOOD."

  (ARTICLE FROM THE WINTER 07-08 MOMENTUM MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL MULTIPLE
  SCLEROSIS SOCIETY) 


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