LIMA — The American Red Cross is inviting the community to donate blood in honor of a Lima girl battling leukemia.
A blood drive for 11-year-old Lauren Cunningham and other children battling cancer will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday at Allen County Children Services, 123 W. Spring St. in Lima. It will mark the fourth time this year a blood drive has been held in her honor.
Previous blood drives held for Lauren brought in 185 donations. With a goal of 60 donations, Thursday’s blood drive could result in a total of more than 200 donations.
“We have been thrilled to see so many people giving in Lauren’s name, and would love to see anyone willing to come and donate blood at this special drive,” said Mariah Cunningham, Lauren’s mother.
Lauren was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014. Since then, she has received more than 80 blood transfusions during her treatment. As she continues to battle the disease, she will likely need more blood transfusions in the future.
“The reality of it is, those blood transfusions helped save her life,” said John Cunningham, Lauren’s father.
A student at Bath schools, Lauren remains as active as she can possibly be. She was able to attend most classes last school year, and continues to hunt deer and moose with her father. Though she is unable to play sports, Lauren’s father hopes with more blood transfusions and chemotherapy, she will be back on the soccer field this fall.
For Lauren and other patients battling serious medical conditions, blood and platelet donations are a constant need. The Red Cross states that burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.
To learn about blood donation, including information about eligibility to donate, visit http://redcrossblood.org or call 800-733-2767.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.