Thursday, December 1

Suffolk County Legislator, Islip Terrace FD Hold Blood Drive in Honor of Pediatric Cancer Survivor Struggling with COVID-19


Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, the Islip Terrance Fire Department and New York Blood Center recently held a blood drive in honor of East Islip High School graduate Heather McNamara.

Heather was diagnosed with cancer when she was four years old and required extensive blood transfusions as she went through surgeries to remove multiple organs. As a pediatric cancer survivor, she became a tireless advocate for New York Blood Center and worked to educate the public about the need for blood donations to help people like her.

Heather is now 19 years-old and was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the end of December. She is currently hospitalized and has required blood, platelet and plasma transfusions throughout her recovery. The community held this drive to collect blood donations for Heather and patients like her.

The drive came at a critical time for New York’s blood supply as record-setting storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in lost donations in recent weeks. This is on top of the chronic deficit in blood donations the region has seen since the start of the pandemic. Nearly all high schools, colleges, offices, and other community groups have had to cancel their blood drives.

NYBC took extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. As always, people were not eligible to donate if they were experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms.


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