Over the past three weeks, the Blood Center has been forced to cancel dozens of blood drives (68, and counting) leading to a loss of more than 2200 donations due to record cold tempatures, snow, and ice.
If you are able to safely travel to donate blood this week, please do. To find a donation location near you, call (800) 747-5401, visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org, or use the Blood Center’s IMPACT mobile app.
With another winter storm on the way to portions of our service region, we will continue to provide information on the impact of winter weather at www.bloodcenter.org/weather.
Before my child was diagnosed with cancer, I had no idea how important blood and platelets were.” This is Pyper’s story, as told by her mom Darcy.Pyper was just five years old in the spring of 2014 when she first got sick with what seemed like a virus. A month after testing positive for strep and mono, despite all treatment, she just wasn’t getting better. We took her to the emergency room, because her symptoms had increased and we were at a loss as to what to do next. Doctors quickly realized she need an MRI. That’s when they found it: a large mass on her brain. The official diagnosis was medulloblastoma - a highly aggressive form of brain cancer.Surgery was immediately scheduled for the next day. During surgery, Py suffered a stroke that would leave her with partial paralysis of her left side. She was unable to walk for six weeks and has had to overcome many obstacles to regain strength and function of her left side.We arrived at St. Jude in Memphis in late April, where she underwent 30 rounds of radiation to her brain and spine and completed seven grueling rounds (each lasting a month) of adult strength chemotherapy. It was a long 10 months of treatment, but I am happy to say she has been no evidence of disease since January 2015 - 20 months!Treatment was SO hard on her little body. All in all, she ended up receiving eight blood transfusions (including two during her initial brain surgery) and 13 platelet transfusions during treatment. Platelets are so important for cancer patients, especially brain cancer, as they are at an increased risk of bleeding.Before my child was diagnosed with cancer I had no idea how important blood and platelets were. I thought people only received blood during traumas and childbirth, I had no idea cancer patients needed them so often. I could always tell when her red blood counts were low. She was so weak and tired and grouchy! But after a transfusion she was a whole new child! It's amazing what blood does for our bodies!Without blood and platelet donations our story could be much different. We are truly blessed to have our daughter here today and I can't thank everyone enough for being donors. You never know whose life you'll save.