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Blood drive shows support for girl with leukemia

Arlington’s Katelynn Kazen donates blood for the first time at the Puget Sound Blood Center’s Bloodmobile on July 18. - Kirk Boxleitner
Arlington’s Katelynn Kazen donates blood for the first time at the Puget Sound Blood Center’s Bloodmobile on July 18.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — When 10-year-old Maddy White was diagnosed with leukemia barely two months ago, Melody Lich and Danica Kazen mobilized the other friends of the White family to show their support for a little girl in Arlington who was fighting for her life, which was what led to the Puget Sound Blood Center’s “Bloodmobile” drawing more than 30 donors to the parking lot of the Arlington Co-op on Thursday, July 18.

“As soon as we heard Maddy’s diagnosis, we knew we would be there to support her family,” Kazen said on July 18, as her daughter Katelynn rolled up her own sleeve to give blood. “This whole community has been there for them, with meals and lawn care and all sorts of things. We want to love them so much. The family’s church has been helping out big time.”

While that day’s blood donations will stay local, Lich acknowledged that they obviously don’t know how much of that blood will go back to Maddy, but with the frequency of Maddy’s visits to the hospital, she figures that every little bit helps.

“Her family is having to drive her to Seattle Children’s at least three or four times each week,” Lich said on July 18. “I just decided to put out a collection box today to go with the blood drive, because the White family is looking to get an air filtration system for Maddy that was used by another family whose child had cancer, but the replacement bulbs for it cost $40 each.”

Katelynn Kazen had never donated blood before, but between her concern for Maddy and the treatment she received from the Bloodmobile staff, her mind was soon at ease.

“The worst thing is the first prick of the needle,” Katelynn Kazen said. “After that, I didn’t worry about it.”

Taylor Haase, a phlebotomist who was one of the Bloodmobile’s four staff members that day, deemed Arlington an excellent source of blood donations, due in no small part to the Carbajal family, who used the Facebook page devoted to their own frequent blood drives to promote the July 18 blood drive in honor of Maddy White.

“Arlington always seems like it generates a good turnout for blood drives,” Haase said. “By helping us out, you’re potentially helping your neighbors. We need new blood every day.”

Angela Hinton, a collection specialist for the Puget Sound Blood Center, added that the supply for platelets is especially short, due to increased demand at local hospitals.

Brittany White, Maddy’s mom, noted that her little girl has had at least 10 blood transfusions and four platelet transfusions.

“We’re burning off gas to get to the hospital each time, and buying food when we’re there,” Brittany White said. “It’s about an hour’s drive away, but it’s not far away enough for us to qualify for Ronald McDonald’s House, and Maddy can’t eat regular food because her immune system is depressed, so she’s getting sick and losing weight anyway because of the chemo. I just want to thank our church and our friends, especially Melody, because they’ve done everything for us.”

For more information on how you can help support Maddy White, log onto www.facebook.com/WeLoveMaddyWhite.

 

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