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Blood drive to support 1-year-old boy battling blood cancer this weekend



Family and friends of 1-year-old Onyx Onederra are rallying behind him as he starts treatment for a recently diagnosed blood cancer. In honor of Onyx and his battle against childhood leukemia, the community is hosting a blood drive on Friday, May 3, at The Ivy at Draper, 14075 S. Bangerter Pkwy., 12:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

Onyx was diagnosed with Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia two months after his first birthday on Feb. 2 of this year. This disease is an aggressive, fast-growing type of blood cancer that prevents the body from making healthy blood cells. Onyx will need blood and platelet transfusions as he undergoes two years of chemotherapy.

“Since his diagnosis of Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, he has received blood transfusions as his body hasn’t been able to produce healthy blood on its own,” said Ciara Standish, Onyx’s mother. “We are eternally grateful to those who donated the blood he has received. He has had such positive results from the transfusions that give us a glimmer of relief in this difficult time. Our family will forever hold a special place in our hearts for those who have donated blood to help our boy.”

Patients like Onyx rely on the availability of donated blood for treating illnesses such as cancer, kidney disease and complications from sickle cell disease. Blood transfusions also prove lifesaving for victims of accidents and patients undergoing major surgery.

Donors can schedule an appointment using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Use sponsor code Onyx to book an appointment for Friday’s blood drive. If immediate donation opportunities are unavailable, donors are encouraged to schedule future appointments to help maintain a steady blood supply.

“Blood donation is a simple act that can profoundly impact someone’s life,” said Jeremiah Lafranca, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Utah, Greater Salt Lake Chapter. “There are other patients like Onyx who need blood products to survive. Simply put, the availability of blood and platelets can be the difference between life and death.”

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