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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Two honored with blood drives

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

David Turner, 4, and Caleb Booker, 10, get on Mike Jones' motorcycle Tuesday.
PORTAGEVILLE -- People often don't realize the importance of giving blood until someone they know needs it. So by sponsoring New Madrid County Donor Day honoring two Bootheel youngsters, the Bootheel Riders Club hopes to make that connection.

"I don't really think people are aware of how much blood is needed," said Joy Partin, secretary/treasurer of the club.

The two that will be honored by the club at Thursday's blood drives in Portageville and New Madrid battle life-threatening illnesses that require blood transfusions. Four-year-old David Booker of East Prairie has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Caleb Booker, 10, has sickle cell anemia.

"Most people have a sense that if you're in a major car accident you may need blood," said Anthony Tinin, donor recruitment representative for the American Red Cross. "But cancer is the No. 1 reason that people need blood transfusions -- I've personally met people who used over 200 blood products in the course of their cancer treatment."

Neither David or Caleb's family's could begin to calculate the quantity of blood the youngsters have received. "We're at St. Jude quite often," said Cheri Triplett, David's grandmother. "We've had several transfusions -- blood and platelets."

Caleb visits the children's hospital at least once every month. "Every time, they do a transfusion," said his mother, Delois Booker.

She and Triplett spoke of the lifesaving powers of the transfusions. "It's life for him, because it reduces the risk of him having a stroke,' Booker said. "It gives him energy."

Caleb's chance for having a stroke has dropped from 90 percent in September when he began having regular transfusions to just 4 percent.

"Without (blood) bad things could happen," Triplett agreed. "It could be fatal, or he could get really sick."

But Caleb and David aren't the only ones in need of blood. Tinin said some types of blood are at less than a one-day supply. "We're hoping to see some first-time donors and those who haven't donated in a long time," he said.

Blood supplies often drop when school is out of session -- high school and college students make up about 20 percent of donors, Tinin said. Nearby students from Portageville, Risco and New Madrid who donated at their school blood drives this spring will be eligible to give in Thursday's drive.

Pizza will be served and there will be prize giveaways at each drive. Some of the bikers plan to give blood, Partin said, in addition to the youngsters' family and friends.

And while all blood types are appreciated, Tinin especially urged those with type O, the universal blood type, to donate if eligible. "It is used at a greater volume," he said, explaining that in trauma situations, paramedics don't have the time to take victims' blood types.

This year is the first time the club will sponsor the blood drive. For the past few years, they have performed community service activities, but when another Portageville club dropped its sponsorship of the drive, they stepped in.

"Since we were already involved, we just thought that we could do a blood drive," Partin said. "We hope that we can keep doing it and hope to have a really good turnout with it."

Event info

When: Thursday

Where: New Madrid Community Center, located at the corner of Mills and Parks streets in New Madrid and Portageville Community Center, located at 105 E. Main St. in Portageville.

What time: Noon to 6 p.m. at both locations.

If you can't give Thursday, there are other upcoming blood drives. They include:

* 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dexter High School, 1101 W. Grant, Dexter

* 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse, Sikeston

* 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 26, Montgomery Bank, 1 Montgomery Bank Drive, Sikeston

* 2 to 6 p.m. June 29, Advance High School, 201 E. School St.

* 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 29, Bloomfield High School, 301 W. Missouri * 8 a.m. to noon July 8, Guardian Angel Parish, 604 Church St., Oran

More upcoming drives can be found online at www.givelife.org or by calling 1-800-GIVELIFE