A Very Special Story

We have a very special story today all in honor of Tyler Seddon, a Burrillville boy who is battling cancer for the second time. TylerSeddon021714

Local firefighters are scheduled to hold a blood drive and bone marrow registration for Tyler, today, February 25th from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Tuesday at Pascoag Fire Hose #1, located at 105 Pascoag Main Street. http://bit.ly/OyGo4Z Video Via WPRI.com

Tyler is in need of a bone marrow transplant but does not have a matching donor in his family or on the registry. During his treatment, the 6-year-old has used over 200 units of blood and will continue to need more transfusions. See more of this story here http://bit.ly/1dusiqu Via WPRI.com

Tyler’s seventh birthday is just days away, and his mother’s effort to collect cards from police officers and firefighters went viral and gained nationwide attention.

tyler-firetruckIn addition to cards that have been sent from officials across the country, some officers are working to make Tyler’s special day one to remember. On March 6 – his birthday –  Burrillville Police plan to pick Tyler up at his home and bring him to the station for roll call, where he will be sworn in as colonel for the day. Then Tyler will head to Wright’s Farm where over 100 officers and a Blackhawk helicopter will be there to meet him.

For more of this story click here http://bit.ly/1pp8dua Via WPRI.Com

First responders are welcome to send young Tyler a birthday card at 96 South Main Street in Pascoag, R.I. 02859.

If you would like to make a donation to support Tyler, you can visit http://www.gofundme.com/TylersTroops.

A blood drive for Tyler will be held Tuesday, February 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pascoag Fire House #1. Visit ribc.org to make an appointment, Sponsor Code 0260.

Addition to this original post:

If you couldn’t make the #Blooddrive for Tyler Seddon last night we have some alternate locations and dates where you can donate for him and/or sign up for the Be The Match Registry – Rhode Island Blood Center and possibly be his match!

Please give group #0260 when donating.

tyler Seddon- Pascoag Fire - Additional Drives and Centers One Sheet

Born A Hero

Meet Nate. Nate was born a hero when he donated his umbilical cord blood!

His mother, Jessica wanted to share their story.

“When I found out I was pregnant I was instantly bombarded with literature regarding private cord banking. I didn’t really feel that was a good option for our family since it was really expensive and I wasn’t sure if we’d ever need to use the cord blood.

During a child-birth preparation class, I found information about Rhode Island Blood Center’s Cord Blood Donation Program.  Not only was it free, but I knew if we couldn’t use out baby’s cord blood another family could benefit from it. I was sent an information packet to fill out and I scheduled an appointment to meet with someone at the center.

After it was determined I would be a good candidate for donation, I was given a box to bring with me to the hospital when I went into labor. The box contained everything the center needed to donate our baby’s cord blood.

In January, I went into labor and made sure to grab the special box along with my hospital bag. All that was needed was a simple painless blood test at the hospital to make sure everything was normal for the cord blood donation.

Also a really nice representative from the center came during my delivery to assist with the donation during the birth of my son. She was completely non-intrusive and she was only there for a short while to collect the cord blood.

Before she left she gave me an adorable shirt for my son that read ‘Born a Hero’. It made me tear up to think my beautiful newborn son was already a hero and I felt so good inside knowing that something that is normally discarded can be preserved and used to save a life.

I highly recommend donating your baby’s cord blood. It’s free and incredibly easy to do. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Jessica Beatty

If you are interested in donating your baby’s umbilical cord blood, or for more information on the Umbilical Cord Blood Program, you can visit the Rhode Island Blood Center’s web site at  http://www.ribc.org/full/inner/cordblood.shtml or call us at (401)248-5768.  

Cord blood will be collected by the Rhode Island Blood Center staff who will be at Women & Infants Hospital during the day, Monday through Friday. Some obstetricians may also participate in the collection program.

They Have Inspired Us

When someone donates blood, it’s not just about the recipients it’s about his or her family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, and all those people with whom that individual has and ever will touch in a positive way.

Last summer, the Rhode Island Blood Center’s Summer of Inspiration program focused on 15 different blood recipients, individuals who were given the gift of life by blood donors, and each of whom has had a considerable impact on the communities around them.

In some cases it’s about lives extended, and others about lives saved. Always it has been about inspiration, individuals who have confronted some extremely serious conditions, facing them with determination and courage.

In the year since the start of our Summer of Inspiration, we have seen incredible extremes. One of our recipients has acted in two plays and is about to direct a production; another participated in a charity stair climb up more than 30 flights in one of Providence’s tallest buildings. And two passed away, leaving behind a gift of memories that wouldn’t have been possible without blood donors.

We came to know Michael Fallgren a couple of years ago, A leukemia survivor, Michael had been diagnosed a decade earlier and told he wouldn’t see another Christmas. He saw 11 Christmases, receiving blood transfusions periodically (hundreds of units of various blood products) as he lived life to its fullest.

When we first met Michael he had agreed to have a blood drive dedicated in his honor. Not only did he lend his name and story, but he and his wife Angela actively helped recruit blood donors, and Michael stayed throughout the day to greet everyone.

A gentle man, he had worked in the marine industries for years. Because of blood donors, Michael was able to walk two daughters down the aisles, something no one ever anticipated when he was first diagnosed.

Still suffering from the disease, Michael received a stem cell transplant several month ago, only to suffer three serious infections that recently took his life.

To call Lorraine Garvey spunky would be an understatement. LG, as she preferred to be called, valued laughter and subscribed to a large dose of positive thinking. The mother of two, she was a woman who operated in the fast lane, starting the American division of two German jewelry companies, working for architects, and in-between in the fast paced world of real estate.

She always worked, and when she was stricken with a condition that sapped her strength, she found it difficult. “I’ve never not worked,” she said. “This is the kicker for me. You can’t exercise. I can’t do anything. Very stressful.”

But what she never lost was her sense of humor and positive thinking, an inspiration to all of those around her. LG needed transfusions, specific HLA matches, and he son-in-law Kevin, remarkably was a match. So every couple of weeks they’d come to the Blood Center’s Providence facility-date night she called it. LG fought as long as her body would let her, finally passing away several months ago.

Keith Bloomer, who lives in Exeter with his wife Lynn and eight-year-old daughter, Katie, is in the business of building memories. He’s a double lung transplant, who, during his recovery from surgery had bleeding ulcers and gangrene, which took the tips of most of his fingers and toes.

Keith, has become a volunteer for the Blood Center, the Greenwich Odeum (a theater in the midst of a revival in East Greenwich), organ donor groups and more. This spring he participated in a climb of a downtown Providence building, some 30 stories. As he said, he didn’t finish first-but he finished! He takes long walks with Katie, and brings his laughter, and positive outlook to all those with whom he comes in contact.

Keith works at blood drives, or appears for the Blood Center as a speaker at schools and other groups, telling his compelling story and how blood donors are helping him make memories.

Mention Community Theater to Arthur Robillard and his face lights up, there’s a twinkle in his eye and the voice of a thespian. If it weren’t for dozens of blood donors some 24 years ago, Arthur, father of two, would not have survived the horrific accident. He was working with a Providence Water Supply Board crew, when a car crashed into a group of workers, killing once and severely injuring several others, including Arthur, who lost a leg.

Today, Arthur and his wife live in Foster, where he’s an active member of the Swamp Meadow Community Theater. This past year, he’s performed in “Get Married,” a holiday production, and “Wooster and Jeeves.” Soon he will direct “Canterbury Tales.”

And then there’s Art Berlutti, on the air at WADK in Newport; Candace Callori, shaping the lives of teenagers as a vice principal of Toll Gate High School; Al Whitney and Larry Frederick, promoting blood and platelet donation nationally; Joe Daigle, newly married, and working at Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Lynda Lacave, volunteering at Blood Center events; Molly Harrington, a grandmother of five, Kim Woodruff, who continues to help residents of Bannister House in Providence’s South side; Barbara Joyce, who has been the key mover behind the state’s colon cancer group; and the kids, Daniel, 10, and Isabelle, 3, both of whom continue to battle serious conditions.

Without blood donors? There would be no memories. There would be no dreams.

Article written by Frank Prosnitz; Community Manager, Rhode Island Blood Center. Frank is also the Editor of The Community Lifeline. This article first appeared in the Community Lifeline, June 2011, Volume 10, No 2.  To make an appointment to donate blood in Rhode Island, please visit www.ribc.org or call (800)283-8385.

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