By Raymond Neupert
ROTHSCHILD, Wis. – Community members are invited to come give blood this month in honor of a central Wisconsin girl fighting cancer.
One-year-old Maiya Schowalter has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia since early this summer and has needed blood and platelet transfusions since the start of her treatments.
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes.
Maiya’s mother, Paige, said donations from the community are vital in fighting these sorts of illnesses.
“Especially for the children, the red blood cells or the platelets makes them feel so much better at a time when they don’t feel the greatest,” Showalter said.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin spokeswoman Becky Brown said a steady supply means the world for families whose children are diagnosed with these disorders.
“Everybody thinks it’s never going to happen to them, and then when it affects an infant close to you it really hits the community hard,” Brown said.
While the blood collected at the event is not specifically going to Miaya, Brown said each donation is able to save up to three lives and can be used to continue treatment of rare diseases.
The drive is being held from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at Broadview University in Rothschild, the former site of Globe University. Donors looking to take part need to be 16 years or older and in good health, and will need to bring identification with them.
Brown says it is also helpful, but not necessary, to bring a blood donor card with you. Donors should expect to be on site for about an hour depending on the type of donation they’re making. Appointments are encouraged.
Everyone who donates during November and December will also be put into a drawing. Two people each week will be selected to pick a charity that will get a $250 donation.