BELLEVUE, Wash. — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It’s estimated 10,000 children in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
Some local moms are raising awareness and also extending their thanks to blood donors for giving a lifesaving gift.
A group of eight mothers came together to donate blood in Bellevue on Tuesday.
“A lot of times cancer moms will get together to donate blood, but it’s usually just pairs,” said Christine O’Connell with the Kick Childhood Cancer Guild. “Our kids, kids who are fighting cancer, cannot do it without help from donors. They need blood, they need platelets often during treatment. Treatment can go on for months, years for some kids.”
Donate blood during Childhood Cancer Awareness month
All of the moms who showed up to donate blood at Bloodworks Northwest on Tuesday have children who have battled cancer. Not all of them won their fight with the disease.
“My son Ewan Lill was diagnosed in 2016 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, started treatment and went through treatment for nearly two years and unfortunately he died in 2018 because of the disease,” said Jenny Harrington Lill, who is also a researcher at Fred Hutch. “During that time he received over 80 blood products and transfusions which allowed for us to have more time with him, so we’re very grateful, and this is my way of paying it back and also paying it forward.”
“So many people don’t know it takes about 20 minutes, just 20 minutes to donate blood, you can donate every 56 days,” said O’Connell. “It’s childhood cancer awareness month, so come out and donate for kids.”