And that brings us to Sadie’s story. At the young age of three months Sadie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Family and friends are concerned and want to help in any way possible. The journey of treatment begins. Surgery. Chemotherapy. Life saving blood transfusions.
And that brings us to blood donation. For infants like Sadie, O negative, CMV negative blood is preferred. Only a small percentage of the population is both O negative and CMV negative. And so friends formed a group to bring the importance of blood donation to the public. After all, there is no substitute for human blood.
And that brings us to my recent rounding at our Inova Blood Center in Sterling. While there I learned that someone needs blood every two seconds. One donation can save up to three lives. And as the largest hospital based blood donation center in America, we are stepping up to the plate daily to meet the needs in the community we serve. And that is in part, thanks to the hard work by our dedicated Inova blood donor team led by Terri Craddock.
And that is also in large part to all our donors which brings us to the Presidential Award for 2012 which recognizes a blood donor group not only for units of blood donated at their blood drives, but also for unusual and outstanding service to our community. This award is presented annually at the recognition dinner for both individual donors and those that form blood drives. The winner was Friends of Sadie, seven special women who were so inspired by one little girl’s cancer journey that they made it their mission to keep the topic of blood donation relevant and accessible. They have encouraged individual blood donations at donor centers and community blood drives. They created an annual Valentine blood drive where at least 500 units of blood are donated each year. They set an annual goal to continue to connect the dots between blood donation and pediatric cancer research. A patient like Sadie might require up to 50 units of blood during her treatment.
Congratulations on the award and thanks for giving so many others a chance at recovery. You do indeed make my heart jump for joy and I hope that everyone reading this is also inspired to make a difference one day at a time, one unit at a time.
Sadie is now four years old and doing well. Three cheers for all of our Inova blood donors!