By J1 Reporters Claire Thiele and Lexxi Olsen
The LoLo’s Angels Club is holding a blood and bone marrow drive with the Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) this November at Saint Margaret Mary and the Omaha Donor Center. On Thursday, Nov. 21, anyone is welcome to donate their blood from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If interested in donating blood or bone marrow to this organization, there are certain requirements to meet. Some of these requirements include being 17 years of age or older, in good health, weighing at least 110 pounds, having had no symptoms of the flu in 72 hours, and no antibiotics in the last 24 hours. If a 16-year-old meets all of these requirements, they have the opportunity to donate with a written consent form from their parent or guardian.
From this blood and bone marrow drive, the club and NCBB are hoping to get a lot of donors. The goal is to get at least 90 units of blood to transport to pediatric cancer patients. What many people don’t realize is how much blood is required for each patient being treated. Groups like the NCBB take donated blood from across the Omaha metro area and deliver it to more than 20 local hospitals with cancer patients who have suppressed immune systems. The amount of blood needed for treatment skyrockets during chemotherapy because it kills all types of blood cells.
Lolo Hacker, a senior at Marian, had an aggressive form of leukemia called Acute Myelocytic Leukemia. This cancer managed to wipe out all of her white blood cells, leaving her with no immunity. But not only was she left without white blood cells, her platelets-which allow blood to clot-and red blood cells were also taken as a result of her cancer.
Without platelets, any physical contact could cause internal bleeding that would not be able to be stopped. Red blood cells are vital to body function. They carry oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide in the human body and transport it back to the lungs. Hacker was extremely anemic at one point in her treatment and could have died from the lack of healthy red blood cells.
During her treatment, she experienced 36 red blood cell transfusions. The Hacker family depended on 75 kind strangers to donate blood to save their daughter.
LoLo Hacker was the inspiration of this club. LesLee Hacker, the leader of the LoLo’s Angels Club and also LoLo’s mom, said, “We chose to do blood and bone marrow drives because we wanted to involve young people in this process.” She also said, “I would love the opportunity to educate people.”
The whole goal of this club is to inform the youth about cancer and how they can participate in helping children like Hacker. Each member of the club was given a postcard to hand out to their family and friends and were all encouraged to get at least one person to donate at this fundraiser. If interested in donating blood or bone marrow, talk to club moderator Mrs. Halli Tripe in Room 301 or visit www.ncbb.org for more information.
Blood & Bone Marrow Donation Locations on Thursday, Nov. 21:
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saint Margaret Mary
6116 Dodge St
Omaha, NE 68132
Omaha Donor Center
12100 Pacific St
Omaha, NE 68154