Prior to this year, I have donated whole blood at church and Amicus blood drives in Cranbury. I have only donated platelets one time a few years ago. However, in December 2020, my seven year old cousin Frankie was diagnosed with Leukemia. He immediately began treatment that would require weekly platelet infusions over the next 18 months of chemotherapy.
Originally, my goal was to make 5 donations this year – that changed in March. At the end of my donation I walked into the snack zone (my favorite part of the donation) and a woman who donated said thank you to me and another donor. I guess we were both puzzled that another donor thanked us, but she then went on to tell her story. She was from Chicago, and living in an apartment with her family in Philadelphia, so her 14-year-old son could participate in a Leukemia clinical trial at CHOP, just a few blocks from our corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.
She told me, “my son needs platelets every day and if it wasn’t for you, he would not be alive.” I’m not usually speechless or that emotional, but I was both at that moment. I wish I would have asked more about her son.
My goal of five donations in 2021 increased to 15 that Saturday. On August 31, 2021, I reached that personal goal. But it’s not enough. Every week, I still get emails about platelet and blood shortages.
Those of you who donate – 1 time or 24 times per year – you are saving lives! And that’s not a cliché. I am looking forward to my next cookie and apple juice and a few more episodes of Peaky Blinders free Netflix from the chair.
We work together every day to do important work for people living with rare diseases. Today, we want to accomplish something equally meaningful. The Red Cross needs to collect 15,000 blood donations every day to have enough blood for patients in 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. That’s a lot of patients in need. And all of us, coming together, can help ensure patients receive life saving blood.
So #TeamAmicusSleevesUp and help us reach our goal!
Make and keep your appointment to give blood to the American Red Cross.