Save 3 lives in one day — donate blood September 22!

Voluntary Action Center will host a community blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross on September 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Spirit Lake Campus of Iowa Lakes Community College.

For more information, or to make an appointment to donate, contact Amy Peterson at 712-336-4444 or sign up online at

“Hosting a blood drive coincides with Voluntary Action Center’s core values of giving back to the community,” said Amy Peterson, Executive Director.

Blood is routinely transfused to patients with cancer and other diseases, premature babies, organ transplant recipients, and trauma victims, according to the Red Cross.

The brief time it takes to donate can mean a lifetime to a patient with a serious medical condition. We urge eligible donors to join us in the selfless act of giving blood. Donors of all types are needed.

“This is one of our most impactful volunteer opportunities,” Peterson said. “Here, you can save three lives.” Peterson routinely gives double red cells and proudly carries her donor card.

According to the World Health Organization:
The need for blood is great. Every day in the U.S., approximately 41,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident/trauma victims. In 2011, nearly 21 million blood components were transfused. With an aging population and advances in medical treatments and procedures requiring blood transfusions, there is always a need for blood and blood components.

Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent do so annually.

The Stanley brothers deliver a Realm of Caring.

Five Colorado brothers, Jon, Jordan, Joel, Jesse and Jared began breeding strains of the  cannabis sativa plant in 2009 to contain higher concentrations of CBD with lower concentrations of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis).

Their efforts gave rise to the Realm of Caring company. They’re not just breeders, growers, manufacturers or distributors — the Realm of Caring provides help with access and support for patients with intractable epilepsy, Dravet’s syndrome, and other serious conditions, as well as the parents of children who suffer with these ailments.

Many neurological illnesses are not successfully treated by pharmaceuticals and traditional medicine. Intractable seizures are so life-quality limiting and debilitating, patients become desperate for any relief.

Cannabidioil is often the answer to the problem of brain diseases and disorders. Charlotte’s Web cannabis oil is carefully cultivated,

lovingly produced under the best scientific conditions, and distributed to as many patients in need as possible.

Medical cannabis legal in Iowa — but not

iowa cannabis

This is the conflict. It’s a battle between patients with intractable disease, and in the case of children, their parents, and legislators who don’t want to be reckless.

We’ve told the story of so many patients in Iowa, and especially children who have intractable epilepsy and other conditions, and they’re at odds with legislators who sympathize with the conditions, or so they say, but they can’t find it in their conscience to make the legislation. But they cannot just say no in the face of their suffering constituents. So what to do?

Pass a bandaid solution. That is what the Iowa Medical Cannabis Act really is. According to Iowa Senator Bill Dotzler, what patients are finding is that they cannot find a catalyst for getting medical cannabis in their hands. The cannabis cards made possible by the passage of the Act have not made cannabidiol more accessible to them because right now no one in Iowa can grow the cannabis sativa plant, and no one can bring in marijuana products or hemp products to Iowa.

Hemp, as we reported last week, was legal and used for a variety of purposes. It was the major medicinal ingredient used in the U.S. before it was outlawed. Dr. Donald Abrams of Stanford University attempted to test cannabidiol for its effectiveness in countering the body wasting of patients with AIDS, but his research was blocked by governing authorities. Meanwhile there are patients who cannot wait.

When the brain has endured a number of seizures, brain cells are broken down and you cannot get them back, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

This is what Jennifer knows: the cannabis from CW Botanicals that Liam is taking — it’s helping him. He’s found relief from seizures. Harli from Fonda, Iowa — it’s helped her be self-determining in her own life. This is anecdotal evidence, as parents like Jennifer find a way, researchers suspect the evidence will grow into a collection of data.

The data will convince the people who need to be convinced the most — the legislators standing in the way of patients getting the relief they need.

The other element to this, of course, is big pharmaceutical money. Is the strong possibility that the pharmaceutical industry will lose money if cannabis is legalized a factor in the slowness to effective legislation?