In March, while basketball teams are fighting for the chance to be crowned champions, patients battling cancer and other illnesses are fighting for their lives. The American Red Cross is asking blood donors to help patients rebound by making a lifesaving donation this spring.

Middle school basketball player Olivia Stoy received blood and platelet transfusions during treatment for T lymphoblastic lymphoma. With the help of blood and platelet donations, the 14- year-old has returned to the basketball court.

“We are so thankful that the blood products were available to Olivia for the almost two years of her treatment. They have made it possible for Olivia to regain her strength and get back to doing the activities she loves,” said Megan Stoy, Olivia’s mother.

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Donors of all blood types are needed to help ensure that the Red Cross can collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations needed every day for patients like Olivia.

Giving blood takes less time than it takes to watch a single basketball game. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities March 16-31 in Bergen and Essex Counties New Jersey:

American Red Cross Blood Donation Center

Northern New Jersey Donor Center

209 Fairfield Road, Fairfield

Tuesday: 12:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: (1st and 3rd of each month) 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Bergen

Cresskill

2/25/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Cresskill American Legion Post No. 21, 75 Legion Drive

Garfield

3/25/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Garfield YMCA, 70 Outwater Lane

Rochelle Park

3/28/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Rochelle Park American Legion Post No. 170, 33 West Passaic St.____
Essex

Caldwell

3/26/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Caldwell University, Student Center, 120 Bloomfield Ave.

Nutley

3/20/2018: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m., Nutley Masonic Lodge No. 25, 175 Chestnut St.