Mother thanks blood donors for helping save son's life

Mother thanks blood donors for helping save son's life
Published: Feb. 25, 2015 at 10:36 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The need for blood donations is always great, but with this weeks' winter weather Red Cross blood donations have taken a hit.

Tuesday, at the peak of the winter weather, 47 blood drives were canceled in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Red Cross officials say that resulted in over 17-hundred potential units that couldn't be collected.

More cancellations are expected in North Carolina over the next couple of days due to the next winter storm.

A local mother is helping the Red Cross get the word out and asking others to step forward to donate.

Laura Shieder says her child's life was saved thanks to blood donors. Mack, 6, is a kindergartner at Orangegrove Elementary School. He loves playing basketball and lives what his mother calls "the live that a normal child should."

But, this hasn't always been his reality.

"When he was 19 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia," said Shieder. "He went through three and a half years of chemotherapy and he did fine, but all the way had to have blood transfusions, platelet transfusions."

Mack's leukemia was back 11 months later and he needed a bone marrow transplant.

"We were in the hospital for six months waiting for the transplant," said Shieder.

Again, on almost a daily basis Shieder says Mack was receiving chemotherapy or blood transfusions. His little sister ended up being his donor.

In total, his mother thinks Mack probably received over one hundred blood transfusions.

"Mack wouldn't be here without the transfusions that he got," said Shieder.

Mack is now in remission and doing great.

Shieder hopes her son's story will encourage others to donate.

"You're not even saving just one life, you're saving multiple lives with donating blood

"Ten minutes to donate a pint of blood to give to someone who potentially could die without it," said Shieder. "Knowing that you helped save someone's life ... I mean I just don't see any other reason why not to donate it."

Shieder says her family will always look at Red Cross, and it's blood donors, as a huge blessing and lifeline for Mack.

"We are so grateful that people actually donate to give because without it Mack wouldn't be where he is today," said Shieder.

If you are interested in donating, you can set up an appointment by calling 843-402-5566.