of our nation's 69 million children suffer from diseases
that require blood transfusions.
our area alone, hundreds of children with life-threatening
diseases such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia, lymphoma
and Hodgkin's disease need repeated transfusions just
to stay alive.
to a recent study by the National Blood Data Resource
Center, individual blood donations declined from 14
million in 1994 to 12.6 million in 1997, while transfusion
rates increased by 3 percent in that same period.
The study predicts that the need for blood will continue
to grow, possibly by more than 1 percent per year;
the same is not true for donations.
we can no longer assume that blood will be available
when needed, we must find ways to assure that it is
available for our children who need life-saving transfusions.