How your blood donations save lives

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- 10-year-old Bree Town sits in her isolation room at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and counts. Not how many days she has left in the hospital, but the number of blood transfusions she's had.

Bree, has acute myeloid leukemia. "Yeah we were in denial. We were devastated really," said her mother Jennifer, who took Bree to the doctor eight months ago for a sore throat and fever. That led to her diagnosis.

Bree has just a 60% chance of survival, and that survival is dependent on generous strangers.

"I couldn't believe it, she had over 75 blood and platelet transfusions in less than six months. It was unreal," said Jennifer, who is grateful for every single one of them. "She had to have it to survive. We were at the mercy of people we didn't even know." Like the hundreds of donors who take part in corporate blood drives like the one at Farmers Insurance in Caledonia.

Mike Cok with Farmers Insurance says in the nearly 30 his organization has been involved with Michigan Blood, nearly 8,000 units of blood have been donated. "It's something that we feel very proud about. Taking care of our customers in our communities is who we are and it's just a great way to give back."

There's no way to count the lives that were saved by the hundreds who took an hour out of their day to donate. "Michigan Blood and the important work it's doing and the way we can contribute-- it's all about connecting with those that need us," says Cok.

Bree has four more months of treatment and she'll need many more blood transfusions before her immune system is strong enough for a bone marrow transplant.

Michigan blood is holding a blood drive Tuesday and Wednesday at their Fuller Street location. There is also a bone marrow drive for Bree Town at Greenville High School on December 6.Below arethe details:

Friday, December 6
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Greenville High School
Blood/Be The Match Bone Marrow Drive
Open to the Public


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