MONROVIA, Calif. (May 30, 2018) — The Monrovia Unified School District and the James Speranta Organization are hosting an American Red Cross blood drive June 2 in honor of Monrovia High School student James Speranta. The date coincides with the recent proclamation of June 2 as Childhood Leukemia Awareness Day by the City of Monrovia.
James, age 16, loves sports. He is a member of Monrovia High’s swim and water polo teams and San Gabriel Men’s Water Polo Club, and regularly trains at the local gym. He took a hiatus from participating in extracurricular activities after receiving a diagnosis of childhood leukemia in March.
Nicola Speranta took her son, James, to the emergency room when he looked pale following physical activity. Blood tests revealed his hemoglobin level was a third of what it should be and James received three units of blood to help stabilize his condition. A bone marrow test indicated that James had childhood leukemia. Since his diagnosis, James has begun a year-long regimen of intensive chemotherapy treatments and continues to require blood products.
Touched by the outpouring of community support, Nicola Speranta started the James Speranta Organization to raise awareness of childhood leukemia and help patients in need by hosting blood drives.
“Childhood leukemia is a devastating diagnosis for a child, and the treatment takes a toll on the patient,” said Nicola Speranta. “Hosting this blood drive is important to patients like James undergoing chemotherapy treatments and who require blood products. It also raises awareness that hospital patients depend on the generosity of volunteers to step up, roll up a sleeve and donate.”
Family, friends and the Monrovia community are invited to honor brave James and help ensure blood stays on hospital shelves for patients by donating at this upcoming blood drive.
Give blood in honor of James Speranta
Saturday, June 2
Clifton Intermediate School
226 South Ivy Ave.
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Red Cross needs donors of all blood types to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients. All those who come to donate from May 14 to June 10, 2018, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
Food vendors and entertainment will be provided, courtesy of the blood drive sponsors. In addition, participants (ages 18 to 44) can be added to the national Be The Match Registry®, where doctors can search to find a matching bone marrow donor.
Blood donation appointments for this drive can be scheduled by using the sponsor code JAMES through the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
How to donate blood
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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Blood donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
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 CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.