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Save a life: 9 Cities Challenge kicks off at KESQ studios

lifestream blood bank

Lifestream Blood Bank is looking for donors to help kick off the 2020 Nine Cities Challenge.

The challenge creates a friendly competition across the Coachella Valley, to see which community will get the most involved in collecting blood donations. This year, the overall goal is 1,200 blood donations.

To kick it all off, KESQ News Channel 3, CBS Local 2, and Telemundo Noticias 15 are teaming up for a blood drive at the television station.

If you want to help save a life, here’s the info:

KESQ News Channel 3, CBS Local 2, and Telemundo Noticias 15 Blood Drive 

  • Friday, June 26, 2020
  • 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 
  • 31276 Dunham Way, Thousand Palms, in the Bloodmobile

You can make an appointment here. You can click here to pre-register.

 “With the effects of COVID-19 still being felt, including a critically low blood supply and many local patients having to wait for treatments that require blood transfusions, the success of this year’s ‘challenge’ is especially vital,” Rick Axelrod, MD, LifeStream’s president, CEO and medical director said in a release. “Since this additional factor is a hard reality we expanded the challenge to 2 months, giving residents more opportunities to donate for their city and assist their loved ones, friends, neighbors and colleagues in need.”

Lifestream promises those who give blood at a participating mobile drive will receive a special-edition 9 Cities Challenge T-shirt. For more information on the 9 Cities Challenge and to follow along to see how each Coachella Valley city ranks in donations, click here.

If you are unable to donate blood, but still want to help, here are some ways to contribute.

Donating during pandemic

Lifestream announced that blood donation will be tested for the COVID-19 antibody at all Blood Bank donor centers and mobile drives effective immediately.

The test identifies those who possibly had or have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 in the past.

The test is performed on donor blood, it is not a nasal swab.

A number of LifeStream hospital partners, operating under FDA protocols, are prepared to refer potential donors who have recovered for at least 14 days after their symptoms completely resolved.

Donors are not charged for the tests.

"The testing brings many benefits," said Rick Axelrod, MD, LifeStream’s chief executive officer. "In addition to donors learning if they have the antibody, LifeStream can identify donors who can be COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors and help those who are currently ill."

Criteria for eligibility are available at and potential donors may be referred using instructions on that site.

"Though convalescent plasma has not been fully proven to be effective in patients with COVID-19, there are encouraging signs from early studies," said Dr. Joe Chaffin, LifeStream’s chief medical officer. "By collecting this product, LifeStream is proud to help hospitals develop better understanding of the use of convalescent plasma for patients in desperate need."

The antibody tests are part of a full panel of tests that LifeStream performs on successful blood donations, which includes the standard infectious disease testing.

LifeStream requires staff and donors to wear a face covering and submit to a temperature check and COVID-19 symptoms check before being allowed into donor waiting areas. The company is also following social distancing guidelines by reconfiguring donor waiting areas and beds. There is also an increase in cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

LifeStream provides blood products and services to more than 80 hospitals in six Southern California counties.

Watch: Dr Rick Axelrod from Lifestream, discusses the need for blood donation in the Coachella Valley.

Appointments are recommended; walk-ins welcome at all LifeStream locations.

For more information about COVID-19 Antibody Testing with Blood Donation, visit

To set an appointment to give blood, call 800-879-4484 or visit

For more information on donating convalescent plasma, call 909-386-6837 or visit

More info: There’s a blood shortage: LifeStream asks community to donate amid coronavirus crisis

Healthy Living / News / Top Stories

KESQ News Team


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