Stanford Blood Center Launches Campaign To Increase Donations

Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Michele Gassaway (650) 723-8237
Michelle Brandt (650) 723-0272
Neale Mulligan (650) 724-2454

STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford Blood Center has launched a campaign to encourage donations during the holiday period when the need for blood often increases and supplies diminish. In the campaign, new flags showing Lucile Packard Children's Hospital patient Xitlali Alvarez line El Camino Real between Sand Hill Road and Page Mill Road. The flags, which also line Welch Road where the Blood Center is located, read, "Save a life - Donate blood!"

Known simply as Lali by her nurses, the 3-year-old leukemia patient goes through numerous units of blood during her chemotherapy treatments at the medical center. Lali's parents understand firsthand the gift of blood donation. "There's really no way we can express in words what it's meant to us," said her father, Robert Alvarez.

"Our hope is to show people one of the many patients they help when they donate blood," said Michele Gassaway, spokesperson for the blood center. "We constantly struggle to get enough blood donors to meet the demands of the hospitals we serve. Lali is alive today because people took the time to donate blood."

Gassaway explained that during the holidays, family activities and planning often stand in the way of making donations. "We understand that people are busy but hospital patients like Lali continue to need blood," she said.
The Stanford Blood Center faces the new challenge of supplying blood to the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in addition to Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, El Camino Hospital and O'Connor Hospital in San Jose. To meet demand, the blood center hopes to increase collection by 20 percent in the coming year.

Donors are urged to call (650) 723-7831 or toll-free (888) 723-7831 to make an appointment, learn hours of operation and get directions. Donors should be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms. They must eat well prior to donation, drink fluids and present photo identification at the time of donation. The process takes about an hour, and a single donation can help up to three different patients in need of blood.

For more information or to schedule an appointment online, please visit

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Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at