Teenager’s Family Gives Thanks for Blood Donors
Milwaukee, Wis. — May 7, 2015 — Michael Christensen, 15, has always found a reason to be thankful, despite spending nearly his entire life battling leukemia.
Michael, and all recipients of life-saving blood donations, share their gratitude with employees at Americollect, Inc. who came together to enhance the lives of 123 people at their recent blood drive. Americollect, Inc. is a Manitowoc-based company that partnered with BloodCenter of Wisconsin for a blood drive on April 14-15. It was the first time a drive was held on-site, and 58 employees volunteered to help save the day for patients in their community. Kenlyn T. Gretz, President & CEO of Americollect, supports the local community through numerous volunteer activities, and now has added saving lives through blood donation to the list.
Michael Christensen was first diagnosed at age 3 and suffered two relapses. He received countless blood and platelet transfusions throughout his treatment. Last fall, Michael completed his treatment, went back to school, and played football on the South Milwaukee High School football team.
His parents, Beth and John, say their son’s ability to find the good in every situation has contributed to where he is today — healthy and happy, enjoying the life of a typical teen. But his newfound health would not be possible without gifts of blood and platelets from volunteer donors.
“We count blood donors among our many blessings,” Beth Christensen said. “Our appreciation for blood donors and BloodCenter of Wisconsin is beyond words.”
To learn more about the donation process or what happens to donated blood, visit www.bcw.edu or call BloodCenter of Wisconsin at 414-877-BE-A-HERO (877-232-4376). Anyone 16 or older who is in general good health and meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to donate blood. Parental consent is required for 16-year-olds to donate. The entire process takes about an hour. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes birth date.