My name is Giovanna Zambito Moses and I’m turning 40 on June 4, 2014. Rather than having a typical party with family and friends, I’ve decided to host a blood drive. I want to try to gather 40 bags of blood for my 40th birthday, with the help of the Blood Center of Wisconsin and Community Bank CBD. I will need to sign up at least 54 donors. Why blood? It’s the gift that keeps on giving and I’d like to give a little something back to my amazing community, family and friends for supporting our family during my daughter’s diagnosis and treatment for leukemia.
I attended Marquette University along with my would-be husband Cevin Moses and my first job out of school was as a medical technologist with the Blood Center of Wisconsin. I worked in their satellite lab in Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin cross-matching blood products for kids in need of transfusions. Since that time, I went on to study optometry and returned to Delavan to work at Morrison Eye Clinic as an optometrist, but I never forgot where it all started. There is a lot of job satisfaction, knowing you’re helping children get the blood products they need to stay alive, be it after an accident, during surgery, because of premature birth or disease, such as cancer. It’s that last one that really hits home, now.
Our daughter, Katherine Mary Grace, was born in the fall of 2011. She was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and had been a healthy baby, until her cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2013. Katherine simply had some unusual bruising at diagnosis. I knew something wasn’t right, and I also knew that individuals with Down Syndrome are more likely to get blood cancers. We took Katherine to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for evaluation, and although hospitals can be scary for some, to me, it felt like home. Katherine was diagnosed in August 2013 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and was then kept in-patient for the initial month of chemotherapy. During her treatment for ALL thus far, Katherine has used two bags of platelets and two bags of packed red blood cells. She’ll likely need more blood throughout her two year treatment course.
My family and I can’t ever personally thank the donors who gave blood to Katherine while her need was critical, as blood donation is anonymous. The blood collected by the Blood Center of Wisconsin stays within the local community, however, and this birthday blood drive is one way we can give back to our community who has supported us so well throughout Katherine’s treatment. Giving blood is truly giving the gift of life and having my friends and family help me do that on a big scale would be better than anything that comes in wrapping paper and a bow. Please consider joining me and help me collect 40 bags of blood for my 40th birthday.
Please plan to donate blood at the Community Centre adjacent to Community Bank CBD, June 4, 2014, any time from 2 to 7 pm. New blood donors welcome. Experienced blood donors, please put this date on your calendars. People with Type O blood are the universal donors and their donations are often in highest demand. Thank you and hope to see you this summer.