Brentwood Baptist Church Hosts Red Cross Blood Drive
Donate Blood in Memory of Samantha Abbott
(Nashville, Tenn., June 6, 2011)
In September 2009, 7-year-old Samantha Abbott started complaining of headaches, stomach aches and throat aches. The symptoms were mild and came and went for two weeks. A trip to the doctor’s office didn’t reveal anything, but Samantha’s mother knew something was off.
“I asked for blood work and test results showed T-cell leukemia. You couldn’t tell she was sick, but 95-percent of her cells were leukemia cells,” says Dwyne Abbott, Samantha’s mother.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. It begins when normal blood cells change and grow uncontrollably. A T-cell is a type of white blood cell that directly helps the body’s immune system fight infection.
Samantha was immediately hospitalized and spent the next six months undergoing chemotherapy and receiving blood transfusions.
“Immediately they gave Samantha her first blood transfusion. Then it became non-stop, every 3 hours, because she was in such desperate need of red blood cells,” says Abbott. “Chemo will get these kids with leukemia in remission. It worked for Samantha. But, if you are not getting blood products along the way, you won’t make it to remission. They have to have that blood to stay alive.”
Once Samantha went into remission, she required an immediate bone marrow transplant. Samantha died just 18 days after receiving the transplant.
Dwyne Abbott believes donated blood gave her more time with her daughter. Today, she and her husband are regular blood donors and encourage others to give.
“It’s the one product that’s not manufactured, it’s donated. It’s a huge deal if your child or family member needs it. We were designed to do this [donate blood]. Our bodies regenerate our cells,” she says.
Abbott says she is thankful for blood drives held in memory of Samantha.
You can give blood in memory of Samantha on Monday, June 20, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Brentwood Baptist Church located at 7777 Concord Road in Brentwood. To schedule your blood donation appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS.
All presenting blood donors are automatically entered into a sweepstakes drawing for the following Music City getaway:
An expense paid trip for two to Nashville, Tenn. for a two night stay at Gaylord’s Opryland Hotel, two VIP passes to the Grand Ole Opry, a backstage tour at the Opry House (based on availability at time of travel) and one $300 Visa Gift Card.
Plus, anyone who presents to donate blood Wednesday, May 25 through Wednesday, Sept. 14 is automatically entered into the Red Cross Racing “Summer Drive Sweepstakes” to win a brand new 2012 red candy metallic Ford Fiesta SE, courtesy of Ford Motor Company. One winner is selected by random drawing on Monday, Sept. 19. For more information, or to schedule your summer blood donation appointment, please visit redcrossracing.com or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
How to Donate Blood:
Call 1-800-RED CROSS or log on to redcrossblood.org for more information or to schedule a blood donation appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors younger than 19. Visit redcrossblood.org to learn more.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and 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.