This is a very special month at Roswell Park. True, 12 months of the year, the fight against cancer is being fought at every level inside their walls. However, January has been set aside to increase the supplies of much-needed blood and platelets.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton designated January as National Volunteer Blood Donor Month. As a result, many blood centers across the country have adopted an annual tradition of recognizing valuable donors during the month of January. Regular donations are critical to ensuring a sufficient blood supply to meet the ever-increasing needs of recipients.

Love chocolate? You are in luck...Roswell has your ticket for The Chocolate Affair that is approaching at the end of the month! All it takes is a few minutes of your time, and you will help save lives and feed that sweet tooth! Mention you read this article when you go to donate, and Roswell will give you tickets to be at the biggest and sweetest event of the year.

Blood donor month is also a great time to educate more people about the ongoing need for blood and platelet donations. At Roswell Park Cancer Institute, platelet donations are extremely important. As part of serving thousands of cancer patients every year, Roswell Park transfuses more units of platelets than all of the WNY hospitals combined. Patients with certain types of cancer and those undergoing chemotherapy or bone marrow transplantation often require frequent platelet transfusions to boost their counts. A sufficient platelet count enables patients to continue their treatments and just feel better!

The New Year is a perfect time to consider donating platelets at Roswell Park. Research has shown that the good feelings you experience when helping others may be just as important to your health as exercise and a healthy diet. So, with all the other things you are pledging to accomplish in 2014, consider giving the gift of life by donating platelets.