In order to promote awareness of the upcoming 18th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup to be held at the Freshman Campus Auditorium on Nov. 18 and 19, we have shared stories of local Okeechobee folks who have received donations of blood and the difference it made in their lives.
Mark Garland required a blood transfusion when his red blood cell count and platelets got too low while receiving twelve rounds of chemotherapy for colon cancer.
Bethany Enfinger Long received convalescent plasma to combat the life-threatening COVID-19 infection that put her in the ICU.
Dee Truehart suffers from heart issues that cause her hemoglobin count to drop so low that she is weak and has difficulty breathing. Numerous blood transfusions have helped to improve Dee’s quality of life.
In 1972, Carl Stanford received ten units of blood to replace blood he lost from injuries received in a vehicle accident. His wife, Roseann, required blood transfusions two or three times a month to boost her red blood cell count while suffering from bone marrow cancer in her spine.
In all of the stories we have shared, several themes are common: ALL of those who received blood and blood byproducts are very thankful for the people who donated that blood; many of those who received blood often donate and encourage those who can donate to do so. Recipients of blood remind us that you cannot predict when you or a loved one may need a blood transfusion or an infusion of blood byproducts, which must already be “On the Shelf”. And remember, those who donate blood are heroes in the eyes of the recipients and their loved ones.
We want to thank Mark, Bethany, Dee, and Carl and Roseann for sharing their personal stories of receiving donated blood. You can become somebody’s hero by donating the gift of life - your blood - at the 18th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup on Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Freshman Campus Auditorium. All blood donors will receive a commemorative Roundup t-shirt and a goody bag.