9 City Blood Drive in the Coachella Valley
Valley communities go head-to-head in the life-saving department July 1-August 31 during LifeStream Blood Bank’s Eighth Annual Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge.
The Nine Cities initiative aims to bring greater awareness to the need for local blood donation, especially during summer months when Valley population decreases while hospital demand increases for blood products.
Nine Cities Challenge bragging rights are on the line with awards being given to the community that collects the most blood at drives within city limits; the community that hosts the most successful drive; and the community with the highest participation rate per total population (minimum 1 percent required).
“With the effects of COVID-19 still being felt, including a critically low blood supply and many local patients having to wait for treatments that require blood transfusions, the success of this year’s ‘challenge’ is especially vital,” said Rick Axelrod, MD, LifeStream’s president, CEO and medical director. “Since this additional factor is a hard reality we expanded the challenge to 2 months, giving residents more opportunities to donate for their city and assist their loved ones, friends, neighbors and colleagues in need.”
Donors receive, while supplies last, a Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge T-shirt, and all complete donations are tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in the blood. This test determines if your immune system has produced antibodies to the virus. If you have these antibodies you may be eligible to donate COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma and help critically ill local COVID-19 patients.
Walk-ins are welcome at all drives but appointments are suggested and may be made by calling 1.800.879.4484 or by visiting https://www.lstream.org/9cities/
Throughout the 2-month “challenge,” residents also may donate toward their city’s total at LifeStream’s La Quinta (79-215 Corporate Centre Drive) or Rancho Mirage (42390 Bob Hope Drive, next to Hobby Lobby) fixed-site locations, and ask LifeStream staff to designate their donation toward their city. Donors who do so at either location also receive, while supplies last, the commemorative event T-shirt.
The City of La Quinta is the defending Nine Cities champion, having narrowly edged Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs in 2019. Last year snapped Indio’s four-year run of “challenge” championships.
LifeStream requires all donors and staff wear face coverings and to submit to temperature checks and COVID-19 symptoms check before accessing donor waiting areas. LifeStream adheres to social distancing guidelines and has enhanced already strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
LifeStream is the exclusive provider of blood products and services for Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center, JFK Memorial Hospital, Hi-Desert Medical Center, Palo Verde Hospital, and Bush Naval Hospital, Twentynine Palms.
For more information on the Nine Cities Challenge, blood donation in general, or to make an appointment to “give the gift of life,” please call 800-879-4484 or visit LStream.org.