Donate Platelets to Help Children Like Delaney
During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!
Throughout the month of September Community Blood Services is recognizing Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and celebrating its littlest cancer survivors.
Those survivors include 5-year-old Delaney of Wood-Ridge (NJ) who at just 3 months old was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. Delaney received numerous weekly platelet transfusions during chemotherapy and radiation treatments for her cancer. Today Delaney is in remission and she and her mom Kaitlin are thankful for the many volunteer donors who have donated lifesaving platelets to help Delaney and other children suffering from cancer.
Delaney is just one of the “Faces” at Community Blood Services who share their stories with community members to illustrate the important need for blood and platelet donors, said Karen Ferriday, community affairs director at Community Blood Services.
“Just as Delaney is a hero to all of us here because she so valiantly fought her life-threatening cancer, so all of our donors are heroes for taking time out of their busy schedules to donate,” Ferriday said.
Every year an estimated 263,000 new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide and many of those children will need transfusions during their treatments. A cancer patient can need up to eight units of platelets a week.
“Since the shelf life for platelets is only five days, we must constantly reach out to our platelet donors to replenish the supply on our shelves,” Ferriday said, noting Community Blood Services must collect at least 50 platelets a day to meet the needs of patients in more than 20 hospitals in New Jersey and New York.
Delaney and her mom are vocal advocates for platelet donation and work tirelessly with the blood center to spread the word about the importance of donating, Ferriday said. In an attempt to spread the message so more donors become platelet donors and donate more regularly, Delaney became president of the newest donor recognition club at the blood center Delaney’s Platelet Donor Club.
Members of the platelet donor club pledge to donate at least three times a year to help ensure platelets are always available for children like Delaney and other patients who need them in our community hospitals.
You can also help children and adults with cancer and other blood disorders in need of lifesaving stem cell transplants by registering as a potential stem cell donor on Be The Match national bone marrow registry through The HLA Registry at Community Blood Services. Delaney’s own uncle, Denis Zamora, a Wayne policeman, recently became a match for a woman with leukemia who needed a transplant and paid it forward for all the help his niece Delaney received from donors by donating his peripheral blood stem cells to help save that woman’s life.