The American Red Cross ( is teaming up with Pro Football Hall of Famer and blood donor Peyton Manning to encourage the public to come together this January to help patients in need of lifesaving blood products. The start of the New Year is one of the most challenging times to collect blood products with icy winter weather and severe seasonal illness often causing donors to postpone giving.

Record-setting winter weather has canceled hundreds of blood drives in the last few weeks, forcing more than 10,000 lifesaving units of blood and platelets to go uncollected.

Just as Peyton Manning did for nearly 20 years on the football field, he is leading by example by rolling up his sleeve to help patients and asking others to do the same.

Unlike other treatments, blood cannot be stockpiled or manufactured—it can only come from volunteer blood donors. Blood products are not only vital in saving patients’ lives but instrumental in supporting other treatments like chemotherapy.

In fact, every minute about six blood products are needed to help someone going through cancer treatment. This is in part because chemotherapy and radiation, used to treat cancer, can damage the body’s ability to generate healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Blood and platelet transfusions from generous donors help to provide patients with critical clotting factors, proteins and antibodies needed to help their bodies fight back.

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