American Red Cross to host blood drive for child with leukemia
Joy Conley diagnosed at 5 months old
WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (Nov. 10, 2012) – Joy Conley is just 21 months old and has spent most of her young life battling T-cell leukemia. She was diagnosed in June 2011, and after a bone marrow transplant and brief remission, the cancer has returned.
The American Red Cross and Joy’s family will host a blood drive in her honor Thursday, Nov. 29 from 2 to 6 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1 West Frankfort Plaza, West Frankfort, Ill.
Joy has received numerous blood and platelet transfusions during her ongoing treatment, but her mother, Nikki Conley, said her daughter’s spirits have never dimmed.
“Joy’s name really explains who she is,” Nikki Conley said. “All through her chemotherapy, she’s been laughing and smiling.”
Cancer patients like Joy often need blood transfusions as part of their treatment. In fact, some need transfusions daily. Nikki Conley said the blood drive in Joy’s honor is the family’s way of thanking those who have given blood.
“If it weren’t for people giving of themselves, Joy wouldn’t be here,” Nikki Conley said. “You don’t really understand how important donating blood is until you’re sitting where I am. Donating blood is the most selfless thing a person can do.”
Blood collected at the Joy Conley Blood Drive comes at an important time for the Red Cross. Blood supplies are still low following the summer months, and all blood types are needed.
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 permission 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.