Dwight Howard to host blood drive in honor of Craig Sager

Fighting cancer takes a team effort. And as Craig Sager goes through his most recent bout against leukemia, he’s joining forces with the NBA community to help those most in need.

The Houston Rockets announced on Monday that center Dwight Howard is hosting a #SagerStrong blood drive on Wednesday of this week in the Houston area.

Via NBA.com:

In honor of TNT’s Craig Sager, Dwight Howard and the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will host a blood drive outside of Toyota Center on April 13th from 11am to 7pm. Join the fight against Leukemia by donating blood!

The Rockets play the Sacramento Kings at home on that same day, so Howard probably won’t be able to stick around for the whole event. Regardless, it’s a great gesture from the Houston big man.

According to the American Cancer Society, people with cancer may need blood transfusions for a wide range of reasons. With leukemia, for instance — the type of cancer with which Sager has been diagnosed — white blood cells can crowd out the other components of blood as the body attempts to fight off the disease. Cancer patients can also be prone to internal bleeding, requiring transfusions to make up for the lost blood. 

The treatments themselves can often cause a loss of blood, as well, particularly when the cancer has affected the bone marrow. More generally, chemotherapy can afflict the marrow and lead to decreased blood cell creation.

In 2014, Sager received a bone marrow transplant from his son, Craig Sager, Jr.

If you’re not in Houston and still want to make a difference, the American Red Cross is likely hosting blood drives in the near future in your area. Check their website to find out how you can do more.