Filling the #MissingTypes One Letter at a Time
5-year-old Collin Pruitt needed blood. Enough for nearly 200 transfusions. We’re participating in the American Red Cross #MissingTypes campaign to ensure everyone who needs blood can receive it.
Collin Pruitt, the 5-year-old grandson of Zebra employee, Kellie Fowler and son to Kellie’s daughter, Tawny Pruitt, just finished his tee ball season. Now, he wants to play soccer. Or maybe basketball. Or maybe tee ball again. (He’s not sure).
This summer, he plans to go swimming a lot. And this coming August, he’ll be starting school as a kindergartener.
All that sounds blissfully normal and typical, until you add one very important fact to the equation – Collin was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma less than two years ago.
Last summer, there was no swimming, no tee ball, and no promise he’d be starting school on time. Between chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, scans, blood and platelet transfusions, a stem cell transplant and numerous 3-hour car rides for countless hospital overnights, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to just be a kid.
Tawny says that even though it wasn’t easy, Collin didn’t fight all the treatments. “He’s such a good sport through all of it,” she said.
Having had a stem cell transplant, undergone immunotherapy, and been diagnosed with another disease that reduced his liver function, Collin underwent what Tawny estimates to be a staggering 200 blood or platelet transfusions. After his stem cell transplant in April, Tawny says he had about two transfusions per day for an entire week.
Collin has type O negative blood. According to the American Red Cross, it’s in very high demand, as it’s the universal blood type and can be given to patients of any blood type. Unfortunately for Collin and anyone else with type O negative blood, it’s also the only type that those who have it can receive.
With summer rounding the corner, fewer people are donating blood because school is out, and vacations are in full swing. Only 3 out of 100 Americans donate blood, yet every two seconds, someone needs it.
The America Red Cross Missing Types campaign, now in its second year, is an international movement designed to raise awareness for the need for blood donors all throughout the year but especially in the summertime.
Here at Zebra, we’re committed to improving our local communities where we live and work through the contribution of our time and resources. We deploy our global locations, talent and resources to make investments and create partnerships in areas we believe we have the greatest opportunity to use our expertise and assets to make a difference. One of those areas is healthcare.
We’re removing the B and A from our logo to participate in the American Red Cross’ Missing Types campaign this year to encourage new and returning donors to make an appointment and fill those missing types.
We’re also doing it for Collin, and every person who has ever needed, currently needs or will ever need blood.
When Collin sees someone giving blood, he thinks it’s the coolest thing. “That’s going in my body!” Tawny says he would say. He’s old enough to grasp what’s happening and appreciate those who either donate themselves or support blood services.
Collin is still being scanned every three months to ensure there is no new growth. Recently, his tests have been very good. Because of all the people including doctors, nurses and surgeons who work tirelessly, and thanks to everyone who gives blood, Collin can choose which sport he wants to play this summer. He’s able to swim because he doesn’t have a port under his chest that increases his risk of infection. He can play in the sun with his older sister, Emily because he’s not in the hospital.
“Without transfusions, I don’t know what would have happened,” Tawny said. “It sounds cliché, but it can save someone’s life. I know because it saved my son’s.”
Only you can help fill the #MissingTypes so a patient can survive. Visit Zebra’s Missing Types campaign page to schedule your blood donation appointment today.
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