By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
At a time when blood supplies are dangerously low, a drive in North Attleborough has collected enough to help 100 children.
Organized by North teachers Molly Murdoch, Laura Croteau, and Angela Moulin, the drive was held on Jan. 14 at North Attleborough High School. Thirty two people showed up, filling 40 available slots. Croteau said that initially all the slots were filled, but when some people dropped out due to COVID, many more stepped up to help.
“One hundred kids were being helped out,” said Croteau. “Everybody was really kind and happy and enthusiastic to give.”
The blood drive was in honor of Murdoch’s daughter, Kit, who was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia in July. Murdoch said Kit’s bone marrow does not create enough red blood cells and she goes to the Jimmy Fund every month for a transfusion. This is the third blood drive that Murdoch organized—the first two being held in her hometown of Bridgewater. The blood donations at the North Attleborough drive were given to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Pints for Half-Pints program.
“As she (Kit) gets older, more challenges will arise but for now she’s a happy, thriving 10 month old, meeting all her milestones and responding well to each transfusion,” said Murdoch.
Croteau described the atmosphere at the drive as a happy one, and that everyone was glad to help. Murdoch said that not everyone who signed up was able to donate due to issues such as low iron or high blood pressure when they got vitals checked. Jan. 14 was a Professional Development Day for the teachers, and many were able to take the time to donate.
Murdoch hopes to organize regular blood drives in North Attleborough. January is National Blood Donor Awareness Month. According to the American Red Cross, the nation faces an emergency blood and platelet shortage. Donor turnout has reached critically low levels, decreasing by about 10 percent since last August.
“As a parent of a child who requires regular blood transfusions, it is very scary to read those headlines,” said Murdoch. “Donating blood is something very easy, most people can do it.”
Those who are eligible are urged to share their good health – please schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed.