In order to promote awareness of the upcoming 17th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup to be held at the Freshman Campus Auditorium on Nov. 19 and 20, we share stories of local Okeechobee folks who have received donations of blood and the difference it made in their lives.
Local attorney Steve Hoskins is a generous sponsor of the Okeechobee Blood Roundup and a regular blood donor. Steve believes that “giving blood is about the basics of life” and every time he donates it gives him “a great feeling to donate the gift of life.” Steve also knows that “you may not realize the importance of donating blood until a family member is in need of blood.” In Steve’s case, his mother Jean is the family member that required blood transfusions-more than 100 times before she passed away this year.
Steve’s mother went from one extreme to another during the past 35 years. When Jean was 55, she was diagnosed with a blood disorder where the body makes too many red blood cells. She had to donate blood every two months to prevent her blood from becoming too thick with red blood cells. When her condition worsened, Jean received a drug used in chemotherapy to curtail the production of red blood cells.
Over time, the treatment with the chemo drug caused her bone marrow to be compromised which led to a diagnosis of myelofibrosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, myelofibrosis is an uncommon type of bone marrow cancer that disrupts the body’s normal production of blood cells. Myelofibrosis causes extensive scarring in the bone marrow, leading to severe anemia that can cause weakness and fatigue. At the age of 70, Jean’s body was not making enough red blood cells and she was told she had two to three years left to live-Jean lived until she was 90 all because of the generous blood donors that provide “the gift of life.”
Please thank Steve for sharing his mother’s story by donating the gift of life-your blood-at the 17th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup on Nov. 19 and 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Okeechobee Freshman Campus Auditorium. All blood donors will receive a commemorative Roundup T-shirt and the FIRST 100 donors will receive a goody bag donated by The Law Firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd.