Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rhode Island Blood Center and The Tomorrow Fund Annual Celebration

Awareness Ribbons Customized - ImageChef.com I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Rhode Island Blood Center and The Tomorrow Fund's Annual Celebration of life on July 30th. It was a gathering of donors, recipients and staff from both organizations in a show of appreciation for all of the hard work and dedication that everyone puts into fighting numerous medical issues that children with cancer face every day. The event was held at the Rhode Island Blood Center's Providence location.

We heard from many speakers who shared their stories of how being a part of this wonderful cause has affected their lives. Barbara Morse Silva from Channel 10 and Heather from the Jones and Heather in The Morning show on LiteRock 105 spoke about their experiences with The Tomorrow Fund and curing childhood cancer. We also heard from 15-year donor Tony Deller who shared a story of how and why he started donating and how it’s made such a huge difference in his life.

The most touching moment of the day came when Carlene Lawrence spoke about her 3 year old daughter, Autumn, who was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was only 2. I’m not afraid to admit that I was very choked up when she told the story of how Autumn fought off Leukemia and then had to take on another battle with another form of cancer that required extensive chemotherapy. I looked around the room and many people were wiping their eyes. Carlene is happy to report that Autumn is doing very well and appears to have the cancer on the run.

While she was being treated for Leukemia, Autumn received dozens and dozens of pints of blood, platelets and plasma. This is where all of the generosity of the donors comes in. Our simple donations - whether they are a quick whole blood donation or a two-hour long pheresis donation, make all the difference in the lives of so many people that we never even see or meet. I’m very proud of the fact that I am a long time monthly donor of platelets and I look forward to helping in any way I can for the rest of my life.

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