Robin Reed-Pearson was planning her wedding. She was a little tired but thought it was just the normal strain of work and life. Routine blood work brought the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. It also moved up her wedding date and a change of venue for the big event. Knowing she had a long journey ahead, Reed-Pearson and her fiancée decided to marry in a hospital courtyard right before she started treatment. After months of chemotherapy, blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant, Reed-Pearson is now looking forward to celebrating her one-year wedding anniversary and being back at work as the Director of Medical Staff Services at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.
"If you can, I would highly recommend becoming a donor. I would, if I could. It is easier than people realize. My bone marrow donation came from someone who was just a partial match and I am doing well because of their kindness," said Reed-Pearson.
According to Be The Match(R), a bone marrow transplant organization, 70 percent of patients do not have a match in their family; they rely on bone marrow donors and up to 35% of the blood products collected by SunCoast Blood Bank are used to treat cancer patients. While lifesaving, chemotherapy destroys red blood cells and platelets, often making a transfusion necessary and according to Lifelink, more than 5,800 Floridians are waiting for organ transplants;
In honor of Reed-Pearson, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota is hosting a registration drive for bone marrow and organ donation and a donation drive for platelets and blood. The hospital is working with the Suncoast Blood Bank, Lifeline and Lifelink.
The Give Life Drive will be Friday, August 10th
7:30am until 3:00pm
In the education classroom near the front lobby of the hospital
There are age and health requirements to join the bone marrow registry and if you are interested in donating platelets, the Suncoast Blood Bank encourages you to be prescreened.