Tag Archives: MAX donor

Meet Zoiey, 4-year-old gets strength from blood donors to battle cancer

Zoiey-Pink-Hat-updatedIn June 2013, 4-year-old Zoiey began having fevers, swollen lymph nodes and unexplained bruising. Usually vibrant and spunky, she became exhausted and lethargic. Her parents, Eric and Stephannie, took their daughter to the pediatrician. But once she was finished with the medication he prescribed, the symptoms returned. After three weeks, they insisted on tests to identify the cause of the infection. The doctor called with the results and urged them to take Zoiey to the emergency room. The emergency room confirmed that the test results were alarming and arranged for Zoiey to be flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Her blood counts were so low that she received a platelet transfusion en route, with another unit on board as well.

Stephannie called Eric, who was on the road to pick up his son in Bullhead City. “Meet us in Phoenix,” she said. “They think Zoiey might have cancer.”  Four days later, they were given the specific diagnosis:  acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Zoiey’s doctors began an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy. ALL is the most common form of childhood leukemia and about 90% of patients younger than five years old are cured following treatment.

Zoiey-QuoteFor the first week, Zoiey stayed in the hospital to receive her treatments with tests to monitor her progress. She received three platelet and four red cell transfusions during this time. Since Zoiey didn’t need around-the-clock treatment, the family was moved to the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital where she could have a more “normal” life, but still be close by to receive her treatments and tests. After three weeks, Zoiey returned home to Yuma.

Zoiey had another intense round of chemotherapy in October, with more scheduled in February 2014. Zoiey and her dad make monthly trips to Phoenix for treatments, tests and blood transfusions if her counts are low. Her treatments are expected to continue until October 2015, more than two years after her diagnosis. So far, Zoiey has received about a dozen blood transfusions to help her stay strong to fight the cancer.

Friends and family have rallied to support the family. Fundraisers, raffles, news stories and other events have raised awareness about childhood cancer and helped the family cover medical expenses.

Zoiey-Pop“We appreciate all the support we’ve received from the community,” Eric says. “Zoiey is a fighter. Thanks to blood and platelet donors, my daughter has the strength to battle leukemia.”  Zoiey lives in Yuma with her parents and two older brothers.

A Special Thank You Message From Blood Recipients

Dear Blood Donors:

Your small act of donating blood made a huge impact on my life.  When I was diagnosed with leukemia, my own blood was literally killing me.  Donated blood was the only thing that kept me alive before the chemo and radiation began to work.  And the donated blood continued to keep me alive while the cancer treatments drained me of all vitality.  It took 24 transfusions to keep me going, and because of those 24 wonderful donors I have been able to celebrate 10 more birthdays that I otherwise would not have had; and now that my cancer is cured I will continue celebrating all of the small and large events that make life worth living.

I don’t know whose transfused blood I received, so as far as I’m concerned, every blood donor saved my life.

From me and my family- thank you for taking a small amount of your time to give me the rest of my life.

~Katie Hahn

Kate & Paul

Paul and Katie Hahn

Dear Blood Donors:

You don’t know me, but I need to say “thank you.”

You don’t know me, but I need to say “thank you” for allowing me to follow my dreams.  You don’t know me, but I need to say “thank you” for giving me the opportunity to be a father and watch my daughter grow.  You don’t know me, but I need to say “thank you” for donating blood.  You don’t know me, but I need to say “thank you” for saving my life.

Thank you,

Branden Lombardi

Sophie and Daddy Dland crop

Branden and Daughter Sophie

Dear Blood Donors:

Our 4-year-old daughter, Zoiey, was diagnosed with leukemia in the Summer of 2013.  She was rushed to the emergency room, severely anemic, with her blood counts abnormal.  She needed several emergency blood transfusions, which helped to save her life.  It has been a long and crazy journey ever since.  Through it all, what we have been truly thankful for the more than the dozen blood donors who have chosen to help save our daughter’s life.  We don’t know who you are, but you are our heroes.  If she ever needs any more transfusions in the future, we know we have nothing to worry about.  We want to send a big “thank you” to all the blood donors and United Blood Services.  Just think about it.  The little bit of blood you give can save somebody’s life, like my Zoiey’s.   Every time you give, you are somebody’s hero.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stephannie Gaines


(l to r) Zoiey, Eric, Tanner, Travis, Stephannie

Dear Blood Donors:

I was born with a rare blood disorder that prevented my body from making red blood cells, so I needed a blood transfusion every month.  I received more than 100 of them.  In 2007, I received a bone marrow transplant from my brother.  I haven’t needed any more transfusions since then.

Thanks to blood donors like you, my life today is great! I just started high school and I love it! It is super big (it has about 4,000 kids enrolled) but it is fun! I recently auditioned for Peter Pan and got the role of Michael Darling. I am also cheerleading at Desert Storm elite and I adore it. It is fun doing all the motions and stunts. I sing in my school’s choir and volunteer with my mom with National Charity League. I want to thank all my donors and hope to see all of you at the next blood drive in Arizona!

Love, Hayley

Hayley comp crop 2011

Thanksgiving Blood Donors Hear the Sweet Sound of Saving Lives

Phoenix, Flagstaff & White Mountain Symphonies Thank November Donors with Free Ticket Vouchers


The holiday season is built on traditions and the annual Thanksgiving symphony partnership is one of United Blood Services most popular.  This year marks the 13th season that The Phoenix Symphony will inspire thousands of people to donate to build Thanksgiving holiday blood supplies by offering a voucher for a free performance.  Being the longest vacation week of the year for many, Thanksgiving has traditionally marked one of the most difficult holidays to meet Arizona patient transfusion needs.  Thanks to the “Sweet Sound of Saving Lives” campaign, United Blood Services has averted a Thanksgiving blood shortage for more than a decade.

While schedules often become more hectic leading up to Thanksgiving, the need for blood is constant.  Arizona patients depend upon nearly 500 blood donors every day, even during the holiday week.  Red blood cells (the most commonly transfused component) have a shelf life of 42 days, so November donors can save lives beyond New Year’s Day. “As we celebrate our health and well-being with family, it is important to remember that patients are relying on a plentiful blood supply so that they can celebrate another holiday with their families as well,” said Audrey Jennings, Regional Center Director for United Blood Services/Arizona.

Since the partnership was first established with The Phoenix Symphony in 2002, the campaign has grown to become one of United Blood Services most popular and has inspired more than 47,000 people to donate blood.  The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra joined the effort in 2004 to thank Northern Arizona Thanksgiving donors.  Six years ago, the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra enthusiastically partnered and expanded the date of their campaign through Dec. 31 to reach people in outlying communities as United Blood Services travels across northeastern Arizona.

Symphonies Bring Music to the Ears of Blood Donors Across Arizona

  • The Phoenix Symphony, Nov. 1 – 30: Metro Phoenix Center MAX* donors (specialized donation procedure)
  • The Phoenix Symphony, Nov. 16 – 30: Metro Phoenix blood drives & all center donors
  • Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Nov. 16 – 30: Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Sedona & Winslow blood drives
  • White Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Nov. 16 – Dec. 31: Holbrook, Pinetop, Show Low & Springerville-Eagar blood drives

 *Metropolitan Phoenix blood donors can take advantage of the offer the entire month of November by trying an automated MAX donation at any of United Blood Services six Valley donor centers.  MAX donors help United Blood Services better meet the daily needs of Arizona hospital patients by giving the automated donation procedure that is most needed based on their blood type and physical attributes.

maestroThe November symphony partnership with United Blood Services was inspired when The Phoenix Symphony’s late maestro, Hermann Michael, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a disease that affected his body’s ability to produce blood cells.  Doctors treated him with chemotherapy and blood transfusions every few days.  Maestro Michael was grateful that blood was there for him when he needed it and shared his story with the public to inspire increased donations.  “This disease strikes only one person in three million,” he told The Arizona Republic when he was diagnosed in 1999.  “See how special I am?”  Although the maestro succumbed to his blood disease six years later, The Phoenix Symphony’s annual tradition of saving lives every Thanksgiving holiday continues.

November 2014 Blood Donor Rewards

2014-MAX-PhxSymphonyAll MAX Donors:
Maximize Your Impact!
All November MAX donors will receive a voucher for ONE ticket to a concert, courtesy of The Phoenix Symphony.
A MAX Donation is a specialized automated procedure based on your blood type and the current hospital need.

2014-Phoenix-Symphony-sponsorAll Phoenix Area Donors:
Hear the Sweet Sound of Saving Lives!
Donate blood Nov. 16 – 30 and you will receive a voucher for ONE ticket to a concert, courtesy of The Phoenix Symphony.

2010 FSO LogoAll Flagstaff Area Donors:
Hear the Sweet Sound of Saving Lives!
Donate blood Nov. 16 – 30 and you will receive a voucher for ONE ticket to the Jan. 23 FSO concert “Breaking Boundaries,” courtesy of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.

2014-WM-symphony-logoAll White Mountains Area Donors:
Hear the Sweet Sound of Saving Lives!
Donate blood Nov. 16 – Dec. 31 and you will receive a voucher for ONE ticket to a concert, courtesy of the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra.

2014-STNY-LogoAll Prescott Area Donors:
Give Blood, Get Pizza!
All Prescott area donors who give blood between Nov. 16 and Dec. 31 will receive a voucher for a free 14” cheese pizza, donated by Streets of New York.

McDonalds LogoAll Yuma and Tucson Area Donors:
Give Blood, Get Delighted!
Donate blood Nov. 16 – 30 and you will receive a voucher for an Egg White Delight McMuffin®, courtesy of McDonald’s®..

09-Promo-HeroinMe-LogoAll Donors:
Earn Hero in Me Rewards points when you donate. Rewards points can be used to get t-shirts, movie tickets, ice cream and more.  >Find out more

Cholesterol Testing:
Donated recently? We’ve performed a free total cholesterol test for you. About seven days after your donation, you can get your results! >Check it out!

Schedule your next appointment online,
or by calling 1-877-UBS-HERO (827-4376).

If you have been told previously by United Blood Services or another blood center
that you should never donate blood, please do not consider this message as an
invitation to donate. The Cape electronic newsletter is intended as an
informational resource for all friends of Arizona’s blood supply.

We Have A Winner! Peoria Woman Wins New Car!

DriveAwayAHeroSoloJackie Galbraith Drives Away a Hero with a
2014 Passat S Donated by Valley Volkswagen Dealers

2014 Winner CollageJackie Galbraith of Peoria won a 2014 Passat S donated by the Valley Volkswagen dealers in the United Blood Services “Drive Away a Hero” campaign. Her name was drawn from among the 43,828 donors who gave blood June 1 – August 31 and were automatically entered to win during the summer crusade to increase blood donations. Ten donors were drawn as finalists and unveiled throughout the summer on AZ-TV, media partner for the campaign. The finalists gathered Sept. 19 for the Grand Prize Ceremony at United Blood Services headquarters. Each finalist selected a case with a key during a Deal or No Deal game show event. Galbraith was the lucky finalist who chose case #4, the one that contained the key that started the engine of the winning Volkswagen in United Blood Services parking lot. She drove away the proud winner and a hero to Arizona hospital patients!

A 17-time donor, Galbraith garnered her spot in the grand prize ceremony when she gave blood Aug. 19 at United Blood Services’ Glendale Donor Center. She was touched when she learned the blood she donated that day went to help save an 83-year-old woman with post-hemorrhage anemia after a hip replacement surgery in a Scottsdale hospital. Galbraith first donated when she saw a blood drive at a mall, and began donating every three months after retiring as the business manager from DeVry University last year. “I’m amazed that more people don’t donate blood,” said Galbraith. “It’s really easy and I’m glad to do it.”

DSC_0048At the grand prize ceremony, Galbraith was especially moved by Mia, when she shared her story about how 114 blood donors have become her heroes. Mia was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare disorder that prevents her body from producing red blood cells. She requires blood transfusions every month at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa – a need that is expected to continue the rest of her life. Thanks to blood donors, Mia turned 12 years old on Sept. 19, the same day as the grand prize ceremony.

“The seven Valley Volkswagen Dealers and Volkswagen of America genuinely believe in giving back to the communities in which we live and do business,” said Lunde’s Peoria Volkswagen owner Dennis Lunde on behalf of the dealerships. “What better way to support United Blood Services in their efforts than to make sure there is an adequate blood supply for those in need.”

“United Blood Services was honored to have the opportunity to partner with Valley Volkswagen dealers in a three-month campaign that encouraged so many donors to give blood, especially during the summer,” said Sid Lewis, Regional Donor Recruitment Director for United Blood Services/Arizona. “It was most rewarding to see such a dedicated blood donor drive away as United Blood Services honored hero!”

Your Valley Volkswagen Dealers

  • Avondale – Larry Miller Volkswagen, 10205 W. Papago Fwy.
  • Gilbert – Berge Volkswagen, 385 W. Baseline Rd.
  • Gilbert – San Tan Volkswagen, 1489 E. Motorplex Loop
  • Peoria – Lunde’s Peoria Volkswagen, 8801 W. Bell Rd.
  • Phoenix – Camelback Volkswagen, 1499 E. Camelback Rd.
  • Phoenix – Volkswagen North Scottsdale, 7001 E. Chauncey Ln.
  • Scottsdale – Chapman Volkswagen, 6601 E. McDowell Rd.