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Why Platelet Donations are Critical

“I donated platelets this morning in honor of Isabella’s life. As I sat in the chair, I mentally thanked the people who had donated when Andrew needed platelets.” -Kelly, Cancer Mom

For the seventh anniversary of Isabella’s passing, we honored her life by hosting our annual week-long platelet drive with OneBlood. We are humbled by the numbers that came in for the week, we cannot thank our donors and supporters enough for their gracious contribution…

  • 117 Scheduled Platelet Appointments
  • 103 Scheduled Whole Blood Appointments
  • 86 Platelet Donations Made
  • 183 Whole Blood Donations Made

Did you know…

  • Platelets are the tiny cells in your blood that help form clots and stop bleeding.
  • Cancer patients are the #1 recipients of platelets due to the harsh effects of chemotherapy treatment.
  • Platelet donations are used within 48-72 hours, so the need for this type of donation is critical.

“We are truly honored by the remarkable turnout for our 2019 platelet drive in honor of Isabella Santos. The dedication shown by the 86 people who stepped up to give this precious gift is outstanding. The time they spent in our donor chairs will help save the lives of patients in our community. We cannot thank the Isabella Santos Foundation, their followers, and our donors enough for their support at this drive and over the years. Through this partnership, OneBlood and ISF have worked to create a happier, healthier community, impacting the lives of countless patients and their families. We look forward to making an even bigger impact together in the years to come.”

Jessica Jankowski, Marketing Administrator for OneBlood 

But don’t stop there… summer is especially hard on blood supply products everywhere and we still need your support!

ISF is helping OneBlood and Atrium Health, Levine Children’s and The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte put out an S.O.S. to all local blood donors to Save Our Summer!

Collections have been down all summer, and local patients – including cancer patients who are the No. 1 recipients of blood – are counting on you to ensure a steady blood supply is available for those in need. The life-saving blood products they require can only come from volunteer donors like you.

The 2nd annual Save Our Summer Blood Drives: 

  • Wednesday, July 17, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., in the ICU Walkway in Atrium Health Main
  • Friday, July 19, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., in the main floor conference room of Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital (1000 Blythe Blvd. in Charlotte).

Schedule appointment by calling 1.888.9DONATE (1.888.936.6283) or online here.

All presenting blood donors will receive a special limited-edition OneBlood Cooler and $10 eGift card voucher as a thank you. 

Make an appointment by July 16th to be entered to win raffle prizes such as a Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation Foursome, Doc Porters Tour Voucher for four and a bottle of whiskey, Viva Chicken gift cards, and many more prizes! 

SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT

Things we hate to do, but still need to be done

Written by Erin Santos, Isabella’s Mom

I get it.  It’s not a fun thing to do.  You may drive all the way to the center and get turned away.  It’s cold in there.  It may take them a couple of tries to find a good vein.  You are worried you might pass out.  It might be uncomfortable for a while.  It’s boring.  It may take a little longer than you want it to.  I know all these things that go through your head, because they go through mine too.

You would think after our family’s experience, I would be giving blood every chance I could.  But, like you all – I get busy or some of these excuses start ringing in my head.  I have to be honest though, I do try as much as I can to give blood if I have the chance at a blood drive.  Giving blood doesn’t take long at all and other than having to control my alcohol or exercise that day – it doesn’t impact my life too much.  It’s like voting for me.  I feel good doing it and feel proud walking around with my elbow wrapped up in horrible blue tape for a couple of hours.  It’s like a battle scar that somehow says, “I care”.

Platelets.   For some reason this process is a whole new ball game.  I don’t give them as much as I should.  I’m just lazy about it really.  I’m very particular about my platelet giving.  It is a must to have someone with me to entertain me for 90 minutes.  I can’t focus on Isabella too much in those chairs or the experience may become to painful.

I have had some very memorable platelet donations.  The first anniversary of her death, I decided to schedule a platelet donation during the hours she died of June 28th.  I figured that if I was going to do this in her honor, let’s really do it.  The center was full that day as we were really pushing for 100 platelet donors that week, which is harder than landing on the moon apparently.  I sat in my chair and watched seas of purple come in and out.  Everyone knew that I was struggling because I sat there trying to have conversation, but knowing that tears that were falling slowly from my eyes as I talked.

I could see the hour of her death approaching and I just wanted to die.  My brother came in during that time and sat with me.  I think he gave blood instead of platelets that morning but all I really remember was him being with me.  He was there with me on the day we found out she had cancer, up until the day she died in our house.  He is a quiet brother at times but his presence is heavy.  We don’t often talk during these times about what is really going on in our head – it’s like an unspoken thing.  He knew how hard it was for me as I sat there and sobbed.  He just sat there – understanding how the things we hate to do, still need to be done.  This is not where I wanted to be on this morning and he knew it.  He knew I wanted to be in my bed, sobbing and not sitting here in this gray chair.  But once again, I was doing something, not for myself, but for her.  It was the longest donation of my life – but the most meaningful.

We left that morning together and drove to pick out an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Laura.  He let me be a part of a huge day in his life, maybe because I let him be a part of mine.  We went to lunch and had a drink and laughed.  By then my tears were dried up and I had focused on the excitement of his day.  He was starting a new chapter and I got to be there for it.  It was a good day in the end.

Each year as this date approaches, I feel myself wanting to retreat.  I have gotten a little smarter and try to no longer go during that hour of her passing.  It’s just not a smart thing for me to do anymore.  But I still go.  I go because I know how important blood and platelets were to her survival.  I go because I remember her bruising from the slightest touch and how platelets repaired her body so easily.  I go because I remember her not being able to walk into the hospital, only to find out that she was in such desperate need of a blood transfusion that I would have to carry her tired body everywhere.  She would run out of the clinic after her transfusion, as if the events of the earlier day never occurred.

I go because every time I’m there and I check in, the staff knows me and knows her.  Someone there always says a kind word to me about her legacy and I know there is no where else I should be.

I go because it’s the right thing to do.  I go for her.

Please help us honor Isabella through your platelet donation with The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas during the entire week of June 21-28…AND at ANY of their locations.  Our goal is a 100 donations.

– DATES: Thursday, June 21st – Thursday, June 28th
– GOAL: 100 donations
– PHONE: 1-888-59BLOOD / Can call to schedule at any center
– EMAIL: plateletdonor@cbcc.us

Platelet Drive in Memory of Isabella Santos – June 21-28

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – June 13, 2018 – One hundred platelet donations in memory of Isabella Santos. That’s the goal for the week-long platelet drive that the Isabella Santos Foundation is hosting with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas from Thursday, June 21-Thursday, June 28.

The platelet drive is being held on the sixth anniversary of Isabella Santos’ passing to celebrate her life and legacy. She passed away June 28, 2012, from a five-year battle with neuroblastoma, a rare type of pediatric cancer. During her treatment, she received several blood and platelet transfusions. According to CBCC, cancer patients are the No. 1 recipients of blood products. One local children’s hospital alone requires nearly 300 units of red blood cells and more than 100 units of platelets each month.

“Community Blood Center of the Carolinas has been near and dear to our hearts since Isabella received numerous blood and platelet transfusions to help her stay strong and fight neuroblastoma,” said Erin Santos, executive director and president of the Isabella Santos Foundation. “Hosting this platelet drive is an impactful way we can honor Isabella’s legacy and support local patients who need lifesaving platelets and blood products.”

Those interested can donate platelets at any of CBCC’s five donation centers in Charlotte (4447 South Blvd.); Concord (363 Church St. North); Gastonia (2524 E. Franklin Blvd.); Hickory (2217 Highway 70 SE); or Greensboro (616 Pasteur Drive). Those not able to donate platelets can give whole blood in honor of Isabella at any of CBCC’s donation centers. Appointments are required for platelet donations. To make a platelet donation appointment, email plateletdonor@cbcc.us or call 1-888-59BLOOD and use group code Isabella.

In addition, Jersey Mike’s will provide cookies to all presenting donors at CBCC’s Charlotte Donation Center on June 28 to thank the donors and celebrate Isabella with something sweet.

“ISF is the manifestation of Isabella’s legacy of community support and caring,” said Martin Grable, president and CEO of CBCC. “We deeply appreciate the relationship that has developed of the years. Partnering with such a determined and tremendously successful group of people dedicated to raising awareness of rare childhood cancer and what can be done about it makes our work at CBCC even more rewarding.”

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is the local nonprofit, community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to the region’s hospitals. CBCC collects blood and blood products from volunteer donors in the community to return to the community at the lowest possible cost consistent with the highest possible standards. CBCC is a member of America’s Blood Centers, North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood centers that provide more than 50 percent of the nation’s blood supply. For more information, visit http://www.cbcc.us/.

For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in your area, visit www.cbcc.us or call 1-888-59BLOOD.

Follow Community Blood Center of the Carolinas on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BloodCenter, on Instagram https://instagram.com/cbccarolinas/ and on Twitter www.twitter.com/CBCCarolinas.

About Isabella Santos Foundation

The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) is a 501(c)3 childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research for neuroblastoma, other rare pediatric cancers, and charities that directly impact the lives of children with cancer. ISF was founded in honor of Isabella Santos from Charlotte, N.C. who lost her battle against neuroblastoma. ISF works to improve rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to improve the survival rate of kids with cancer. For more information, visit www.isabellasantosfoundation.org  or follow ISF on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IsabellaSantosFoundation), Instagram (www.instagram.com/theisfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheISFoundation).

CONTACT:

Jenni Walker – Walker PR Group – 980-339-8041-office/704-649-6571-cell

jenni@walkerprgroup.com

Things we hate to do, but still need to be done

Things we hate to do, but still need to be done

I get it.  It’s not a fun thing to do.  You may drive all the way to the center and get turned away.  It’s cold in there.  It may take them a couple of tries to find a good vein.  You are worried you might pass out.  It might be uncomfortable for a while.  It’s boring.  It may take a little longer than you want it to.  I know all these things that go through your head, because they go through mine too.

You would think after our family’s experience, I would be giving blood every chance I could.  But, like you all – I get busy or some of these excuses start ringing in my head.  I have to be honest though, I do try as much as I can to give blood if I have the chance at a blood drive.  Giving blood doesn’t take long at all and other than having to control my alcohol or exercise that day – it doesn’t impact my life too much.  It’s like voting for me.  I feel good doing it and feel proud walking around with my elbow wrapped up in horrible blue tape for a couple of hours.  It’s like a battle scar that somehow says, “I care”.

Platelets.   For some reason this process is a whole new ball game.  I don’t give them as much as I should.  I’m just lazy about it really.  I’m very particular about my platelet giving.  It is a must to have someone with me to entertain me for 90 minutes.  I find that I try to bring Maitland with me so that we can kill two birds with one stone in the chair and knock out as much work as we can.  We sometimes get our best work done in those chairs.  I also like that she keeps my mind focused.  I can’t focus on Isabella too much in those chairs or the experience may become to painful.

I have had some very memorable platelet donations.  As you know, I find it easy to torture myself without even knowing it.  The first anniversary of her death, I decided to schedule a platelet donation during the hours she died of June 28th.  I figured that if I was going to do this in her honor, let’s really do it.  The center was full that day as we were really pushing for 100 platelet donors that week, which is harder than landing on the moon apparently.  I sat in my chair and watched seas of purple come in and out.  Everyone knew that I was struggling because I sat there trying to have conversation, but knowing that tears that were falling slowly from my eyes as I talked.

I could see the hour of her death approaching and I just wanted to die.  My brother came in during that time and sat with me.  I think he gave blood instead of platelets that morning but all I really remember was him being with me.  He was there with me on the day we found out she had cancer, up until the day she died in our house.  He is a quiet brother at times but his presence is heavy.  We don’t often talk during these times about what is really going on in our head – it’s like an unspoken thing.  He knew how hard it was for me as I sat there and sobbed.  He just sat there – understanding how the things we hate to do, still need to be done.  This is not where I wanted to be on this morning and he knew it.  He knew I wanted to be in my bed, sobbing and not sitting here in this gray chair.  But once again, I was doing something, not for myself, but for her.  It was the longest donation of my life – but the most meaningful.

We left that morning together and drove to pick out an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Laura.  He let me be a part of a huge day in his life, maybe because I let him be a part of mine.  We went to lunch and had a drink and laughed.  By then my tears were dried up and I had focused on the excitement of his day.  He was starting a new chapter and I got to be there for it.  It was a good day in the end.

Each year as this date approaches, I feel myself wanting to retreat.  I have gotten a little smarter and try to no longer go during that hour of her passing.  It’s just not a smart thing for me to do anymore.  But I still go.  I go because I know how important blood and platelets were to her survival.  I go because I remember her bruising from the slightest touch and how platelets repaired her body so easily.  I go because I remember her not being able to walk into the hospital, only to find out that she was in such desperate need of a blood transfusion that I would have to carry her tired body everywhere.  She would run out of the clinic after her transfusion, as if the events of the earlier day never occurred.

I go because every time I’m there and I check in, the staff knows me and knows her.  Someone there always says a kind word to me about her legacy and I know there is no where else I should be.

I go because it’s the right thing to do.  I go for her.

Please help us honor Isabella through your platelet donation with The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas during the entire week of June 21-28…AND at ANY of their locations.  Our goal is a 100 donations.

– DATES: Wednesday, June 21st – Wednesday, June 28th
– GOAL: 100 donations
– PHONE: 1-888-59BLOOD / Can call to schedule at any center
– EMAIL: plateletdonor@cbcc.us

100 platelet donations to celebrate Isabella’s life

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, CBCC, has been near and dear to our hearts since Isabella received numerous blood and platelet transfusions to help her stay strong and fight neuroblastoma.  Since Isabella passed just five years ago, CBCC has sponsored our 5K/10K & 1 mile fun run for Kids Cancer every year in honor of her.  And because CBCC helped sustain Isabella’s life while she was fighting, we host our annual Blood Drive every year on Isabella’s birthday (March 9th) and this year we will be hosting a Platelet drive in honor of her passing on June 28th, 2012.  Platelet Drive will take place Wednesday, June 21st – Wednesday, June 28th at ANY CBCC location.  Call 1-888-59BLOOD to make or email plateletdonor@cbcc.us to make your appointment today.  Help us reach our goal of 100 donations!

Many people may not know, but cancer patients are the #1 recipients of blood products.  Sharing Isabella’s story allowed CBCC to show people first-hand the importance of donating blood and hosting blood drives in our community.  Although Isabella lost her life to neuroblastoma, she would have never survived as long as she did without CBCC and the blood products she received.

A note from Martin Grable, CBCC President and CEO…

“Throughout their journey, Isabella Santos’ family has graciously allowed the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas to share her story with our community to highlight the critical importance of blood donation. But they have done so much more than that.

They have become huge supporters of CBCC, attending dozens of our events and hosting blood and platelet drives with us each year. Isabella herself personally worked to spread the word about an ISF and CBCC blood drive held at her elementary school because she so clearly understood the importance of blood donation for patients like her.

Isabella’s family is CBCC’s family, and we truly treasure the relationship we have been able to build over the years. Partnering with such a tremendously dedicated, determined and successful group of people makes what we do at CBCC even more rewarding. Together, we truly are making a difference in the lives of patients and their families in our community.

Those of us at CBCC who had the pleasure of knowing Isabella treasure the memories and miss her dearly. Those of us who were not fortunate enough to meet her remain honored to share her story as we work with ISF and others in our community to maintain a steady blood supply for patients in our local hospitals.”

Please help us honor Isabella through your platelet donation with The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas during the entire week of June 21-28…AND at ANY of their locations.

– DATES: Wednesday, June 21st – Wednesday, June 28th
– GOAL: 100 donations
– PHONE: 1-888-59BLOOD / Can call to schedule at any center
– EMAIL: plateletdonor@cbcc.us

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