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  • Writer's pictureNEIA Red Cross

Recent Graduate and Family Grateful for Blood Donation

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

By Aerial Woods

Meet Trey Anderson, a Midwesterner who is all too familiar with medical practices and procedures. At the early age of 4, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Thankfully, with the help of the Children’s Hospital in Omaha, that diagnosis did not last long. His proven strength to overcome this trial was needed when the diagnosis of immune thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) appeared 10 years later. Blood product transfusions were part of Anderson's treatment plan.

ITP is an autoimmune blood disorder that leaves patients with fewer platelets. Platelets are a crucial blood product that help blood to clot and stop bleeding. "Thrombocytopenia" is the decrease of platelets and the "purpura" is the purple discoloration of the skin similar to a bruise (petechia).

Admiringly, Anderson and his mom Holly share details of their experiences through these troubling times. Upon finding out the second diagnosis Holly Anderson recounts, “When Trey first showed his petechia, my heart sank. I’m sure I lost all color, started to shake and fought tears.” Instinctively, the family entrusted treatment to God and the Children’s Hospital. With this support along with that of family, friends and their church family, they were ready to face this head on.

Bravely, Anderson endured multiple treatments before finding the one that produced the best results. Although a taxing situation, he was able to start treatment within a week’s time. Anderson's parents are no strangers to blood drives. His mother began giving blood at the age of 16, and his father has been a blood donor for 20 years. Thankfully, Anderson continues down the road to recovery.

Anderson graduated high school this year. He is a very sociable person, having competed in basketball, starting a lawn care business and enjoying the occasional game of golf. Currently, he is considering his options for the future. His family continues to move forward, grateful for blood donation.

Conquering leukemia and ITP, talk about resilience! With the support of blood donors, Anderson was able to receive blood and platelets to assist in his bout with leukemia. The efforts of volunteers also aided in the establishment and implementation of treatment for ITP.

Next time you read about a blood drive happening, will you take action and give?

You can find blood drives in your area and learn more about blood product donation by visiting,

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