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Blood drive honors 2-and-a-half-year-old leukemia patient

Badger-Hawkeye

October 4, 2013
 

VINTON, IA.  – The American Red Cross invites Vinton-area community members to donate blood on Nov. 1 in honor of 2-and-a-half-year-old Amillianna King who was diagnosed with leukemia. She has received multiple blood transfusions while undergoing chemotherapy treatment and is currently undergoing maintenance treatment which requires additional blood transfusions. Her mother Stephanie has organized a blood drive to help ensure Amillianna and cancer patients like her have the blood they need – no matter when or where it is needed.

As a toddler, Amillianna King had what seemed like a routine fever and ear infection. She was teething, and although she was uncomfortable, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then a bubble-like blister appeared on her thumb, followed by new blisters on her ears and face. Doctors diagnosed her with bulbous impetigo, a bacterial skin infection, and prescribed a cream which cleared it up.

Even after the blisters healed, little Amillianna did not get better. She had ear infections and complained that her tongue hurt which led to a diagnosis of thrush. The previously energetic little girl seemed tired all the time so her mother took her back to the emergency room. Amillianna was so lethargic that she hardly moved during blood draws at the hospital. Because of her unusually low hemoglobin levels, she was transferred to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital where she received six blood transfusions.
 
Amillianna was finally diagnosed with standard risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After a round of chemotherapy, the blisters reappeared. This time the impetigo medicine did not work, and Amillianna was diagnosed with chicken pox. She was hospitalized and had a nasogastric tube while the chicken pox blisters healed.
  
“Amillianna has been through a lot and our motto is to make each moment count,” said her mother.  “I hope that she will continue to grow and be anything she wants to be, I just want a future for her. She is a beautiful and loving little girl who has a whole lot of good things ahead of her. Cancer is a very bumpy road, and I am so grateful for the people who unselfishly donate blood so that others can have hope for a bright future.”

Donate Blood in Honor of Amillianna King
Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Vinton-Shellsburg High School, 210 W. 21st St., Vinton, IA.
To make a donation appointment, please call Vinton-Shellsburg High School at 319-436-4728 ext. 315. Eligible donors can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org

Lifesaving blood products for patients like Amillianna can only come from generous volunteer donors. The need for blood products is constant, especially platelets and types O negative, A negative and B negative blood.  Rh-negative blood types can potentially be transfused to both Rh-positive and Rh-negative patients. Type O negative blood is universal and can potentially be transfused to patients with any blood types and is often used in emergency situations.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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