Scottsdale teen meets blood donors who helped save her life

0504Ns Neighbors (Blood Donations2)

Blood recipient testimonial Hayley Elliot, of Scottsdale, congratulates Sean Preuss, Scottsdale Donor of the Year, alongside event emcee Pat McMahon. (special to the Independent)

United Blood Services MAX donors were honored during the month of April for providing 23,027 blood components for Arizona patients last year.

Known as MAX Heroes, this elite group of 4,724 donors each spent up to two hours per visit to donate platelets up to 24 times during the year.  Platelets are collected through an automated process and are the smallest, most perishable component of whole blood that is most often required by cancer and leukemia patients, according to a press release.

Sean Preuss was named the “MAX Donor of the Year” for the Scottsdale Donor Center. He was nominated by United Blood Services center staff for his dedication to providing the gift of life, while inspiring others to follow in his footsteps. As a self-driven ambassador for blood donation, he was also honored with a star named after him in the constellation of Perseus, the hero in the night sky.

Mr. Preuss became a regular donor when he learned that cancer patients depend upon platelet transfusions. He lost his uncle to colon cancer in 2010, and his aunt to leukemia one year later – which left six cousins without parents. He realized that, for those struggling with cancer, his platelet contribution was lifesaving, the release stated. He hopes that each of his platelet donations helps a patient recover so that they can come home to their loved ones.

At a private event for donors who donated blood at least four times in 2015, 15-year-old Hayley Elliot told the audience how platelet donors helped her survive a bone marrow transplant to cure a rare blood disorder. She was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which prevented her body from producing red blood cells.

0504Ns Neighbors (Blood Donations1)

Hayley with her mom, Melana, center, had the chance to personally thank several of the platelet donors who Helped save her life, including from left, Tim Abril, Dale Anderson, Stacey LeBlanc and Monica Hockersmith.

The Scottsdale teen’s circle of life was completed when she was introduced to several of her platelet donors.

During a special ceremony, Ms. Elliott’s donors poured sand into a case to represent the 14 platelet and 96 red blood cell transfusions she required before she was cured.

“MAX donors allow the combination of patient need, their blood type and physical attributes determine what kind of donation they give, allowing us to choose the right procedure each time they come in,” stated Audrey Jennings, executive director for United Blood Services/Arizona, in the release.  “Because of their dedication as donors, thousands of lives have been saved in Arizona hospitals.”

The following donors gave the maximum amount of times during 2015 based on their blood type:

  • Scottsdale
    • James Albu
    • Christine Barnes
    • Kevin Bergner
    • Peter Bronson
    • Paul Campbell
    • Alastair Carter
    • Linda Cleary
    • Robert Grusenmeyer
    • Joseph Heltne
    • Chris Hinkle
    • Ryan James
    • Bradley Lagers
    • Jeffrey Langhorst
    • Gilbert Lawrence
    • Franklin Martinson
    • Keith Troxler
    • Frederick Weninger
  • Cave Creek
    • Sterline Boelter
    • Gary Sprague
  • Fountain Hills
    • Joseph Russo
  • Paradise Valley
    • William Chuchro
    • Robert Keasler

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