Blood Drive in Honor of Danielle Edwards Scheduled for March 13
Next weekend, little Danielle Edwards will celebrate her fifth birthday and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />AllianceCommunityHospital is asking the community to provide her with a very special present: donations at a hospital blood drive to be co-sponsored by ACH, the American Red Cross and Pisanello's Pizza on March 13th from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Though the adorable pre-schooler is in remission with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia right now, she has had to undergo many blood transfusions since her September 12, 2007 diagnosis. Additionally, Danielle's weekly treatment regimen has left her with a compromised immune system. So, this year, her birthday party will have to be a very private one.
â€œShe can't be around lots of people in contained areas because she must undergo weekly chemotherapy, which weakens her immunities,â€ explained her mother, Tracy Edwards, a former Alliance Community Hospital Emergency Department nurse who now works on the helicopter/transport team at Akron Children's Hospital, where Danielle is undergoing treatment.
Though Danielle is currently home, she is at high risk for re-admittance to the hospital due to her body's slow response to initial treatment. She is too weak to be able to run, practice her favorite pastime of ballet or even attend church or preschool.
Danielle's grandmother, Diane Lucas, works in the ACH Transportation Department. She said for Danielle to stay in remission, she will need to continue to receive blood and platelet transfusions.
â€œBetween December 2007 and January she received a total of 21 transfusions. At one point during that time, she had 13 transfusions in a row,â€ said Lucas, urging everyone eligible to please donate blood.
â€œThere is always a blood shortage and we ask that you donate, especially since platelets don't last long after being donated. If you donate and help someone else's child, maybe someone will do the same for Danielle,â€ implored Tracy.
Edwards and her husband Curt, Danielle's father, have established a hotlink (keyword = danielleedwards) on the national www.caringbridge.com website that explains Danielle's situation and keeps family members and friends updated on her condition.
But now, more than ever, ACH is urging everyone who is eligible in the Alliance community to please donate blood at the ACH/Red Cross blood drive in Danielle's honor at the hospital on March 13th.
If enough donations are gathered, perhaps by next year, the whole community will be able to attend a six-year-old birthday celebration for little Danielle.
For information about Danielle or to make a donation to the Charter One for Danielle Edwards Leukemia Healthcare fund, please visit www.caringbridge.com and enter â€œdanielleedwardsâ€ at the visit site prompt.
To schedule an appointment to donate blood at ACH on March 13th, please call ACH Volunteer Services at 330.596.7822 or visit www.givelife.org. As always, for more information on other Alliance Community Hospital programs and services, please visit our website at www.achosp.org.