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Citadel News Service

For Release
February 12, 2002

The Citadel To Be Honored By American Red Cross

          The American Red Cross will recognize The Citadel and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets for outstanding dedication to the Charleston community at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, February 14, 2002, on Summerall Field.

          The entire 1,900-member Corps will be on hand when the Red Cross honors the college and its students for helping patients in local hospitals through the apheresis (platelet) and whole blood donation programs. The Citadel has earned the distinction of being the area's most supportive organization of the platelet donation program.

          Six times each academic year more than 100 cadets donate blood at The Citadel, averaging 150 units per blood drive.

          "By collecting approximately 900 units of blood per year, the cadets have saved thousands of lives," said Steve Maness, executive director of the South Carolina Region of the American Red Cross. "We are very proud of the cadets for giving of themselves to support those in need and would like to recognize that dedication by presenting them with two awards."

          In honor of Valentines Day this year, 45 cadets donated platelets, making the college the most supportive Charleston organization of the Red Cross apheresis program.

          On Thursday, Citadel President Maj. Gen. John S. Grinalds will accept the first of two awards the Red Cross will give The Citadel. The award recognizes the cadets and their outstanding commitment to the apheresis program.

          The second award will honor The Citadel and its cadets for their outstanding support of blood drive sponsorships. Accepting the award on behalf of the Corps of Cadets will be Regimental Commander Cadet Col. Bobby Cox, Cadet Master Sgt. Paul Steketee, human affairs NCO, and Cadet Capt. Toshika Hudson, commander of Lima Company. Cadets of Lima Company donated the most blood this school year.

          Apheresis donations, commonly referred to as platelet donations, differ from whole blood donations. The end product from an apheresis donation is platelets and plasma. The entire donation process takes up to two hours.

          Platelets are what cause blood to clot. Platelet transfusions are used by some cancer patients to prevent the risk of life threatening internal bleeding. They also are used during trauma cases and surgeries.

          The Red Cross led the Valentine's campaign with Blanche Darby Florist, the American Cancer Society, MUSC's Hollings Cancer Center and WCBD Channel 2 to support the apheresis program. For each new donor who attempted to donate platelets between January 19 and February 13, Blanche Darby Florist agreed to present a rose to a cancer patient at the Hollings Cancer Center on Valentines Day.

          "The significance of The Citadels participation can be equated to supplying 10 days worth of platelet transfusions for a patient undergoing a bone marrow transplant, based on an average need of four transfusions a day," Maness said. "Thank you, Citadel, for giving life this Valentines Day."

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