Blood cancer awareness brought to light

By Lark Lewis

Blood cancer awareness can be found as close as campus today.

NIU Health Services will sponsor a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Health Services building. This September marks the first International Blood Cancer Awareness month.

Previously named National Blood Cancer Awareness month, the United Kingdom has joined the United States in bringing such diseases to attention.

Organizations in DeKalb will help raise awareness of blood cancers. Kishwaukee Hospital has a hematology department that specializes in blood disorders, and the KishHealth System Cancer Center works directly with cancers in the DeKalb area.

“I would say about 10 percent of our patient population has a blood cancer,” said Kim Aldis, director of Medical Oncology for the KishHealth System Cancer Center in DeKalb.

The most prevalent form of blood cancer seen at the Center is lymphoma. Even while dealing with cancer every day, Aldis keeps a positive attitude.

“There’s always new medication available, new things coming out,” Aldis said.

She enjoys the relationships she creates with the patients while she helps them.

On campus, Health Services is getting in on the awareness action.

Some students are ready to do their part in helping others.

“I’ve never donated blood before, but I feel like it’s a good way to give back to my community,” said freshman psychology major Maggie Rosengren.

Donors are asked to fully hydrate and to eat a healthy meal before donating. For the NIU drive, all donors must bring their ID.

“Be sure to follow the rules so your donation goes well,” said freshman undecided major Brandie Bockwoldt. “Just relax, everything will be fine and remember you’re doing a good thing.”