Blood Center Creates "Traveler's Club"

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

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford Blood Center has created a new donor club to help prevent the blood shortages that may occur when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on travel and residency defer many donors.

The "Traveler's Club" encourages deferred donors to stay active in the Stanford Blood Center community by recruiting new donors. Members will continue to earn gallon gifts as their recruited donors continue to donate. Each deferred donor and new donor will also receive a Traveler's Club T-shirt. If someone has been or suspects they will be deferred due to travel or residency restrictions regarding vCJD, the human form of "Mad Cow Disease," they are encouraged to contact the Stanford Blood Center at (888) 723-7831.

Starting May 29, 2002, Stanford Blood Center will indefinitely defer individuals who have spent three cumulative months or more in the UK between 1980 and 1996. At the end of October, additional restrictions will be implemented. Stanford Blood Center encourages people who will be deferred due to tightened restrictions to donate up until May 29. They say every donation counts.

"One donation can save up to three different people's lives," said Jennifer Reczkowski, Center Recruitment Consultant. "It's crucial to the blood supply that every eligible person donates, and the Traveler's Club is a fun way to encourage deferred donors to recruit new ones." Blood center officials say that new donors must be recruited. Patients may suffer if donors are deferred faster than new people can take their place.