By Patti Jo Turner, Case Manager
The American Red Cross does untold amounts of good for those in need. They are known the world over for offering shelter, clothes, and support in times of crisis. The conflicts and crisis they respond to can be on a massive scale when Mother Nature acts up. But sometimes the need they fill is on a much more personal level – and I would know.
We are blessed to be the parents of 3 healthy children – but it wasn’t always the case. Our oldest daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia 20 years ago. It would be hard to describe a more frightening set of circumstances.
Great medical care and a supportive family made all the difference, but it wasn’t always easy. The chemo that was helping to fight the disease was also killing off most of her red blood cells. She would often be too exhausted to move off the couch. She had a shallow, pasty complexion. Even her lips were drained of all color.
But then…. It would be what we called “blood day”. She would get comfy in a nice soft chair – often accompanied by her dad or grandfather, and be given a magic elixir! Fresh, healthy blood would find its way into her veins and run rampant through her body. In a matter of minutes, cheeks were pink, lips were red, energy levels were up, and for a while, she felt “normal”! As a parent, there is no way to put a value on that.
It wasn’t until we went through this experience that I realized just how important it is to keep the blood banks fully stocked. It doesn’t take much to wipe out a local supply, especially if there is a need for a less common blood type. And did you know…. Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured – it can only come from donors. And in less than 2 months your body will have replaced what you gave.
So, I encourage you to sign up for the next blood drive in your area… maybe the one at Marshall, Parker & Weber on October 19, 2016 from 11:00 am-3:00 pm in our Williamsport office. It only takes about an hour start to finish – but the good feeling you get will last long after.
To schedule an appointment time for the blood drive contact Laura McCloskey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-321-9008.