HEALTH

Family holds blood drive for one-year-old boy fighting cancer

May 3, 2024, 6:23 PM | Updated: 7:37 pm

DRAPER – One-year-old Onyx Onederra was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last month, an aggressive type of blood cancer.

“He woke up from a nap with bruises all over his legs,” Ashlee Radcliff, his aunt, said. “They took him to the hospital and were told their son had leukemia.”

Because his body can’t make healthy blood cells on its own, Onyx has to rely on blood and platelet transfusions. While he is in the hospital, his aunts, Radcliff and Alex Summers, organized a blood drive Friday in his honor.

“It’s important to have blood donations coming because people like Onyx need that,” Jeremiah Lafronca, Executive Director of the Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, said.

Lafronca said donations typically decline in the summer and encouraged everyone to sign up to give. He said after you donate, your blood goes to a processing center and then is sent off to local hospitals to help patients like Onyx.

“We just want to make sure that the blood supply is healthy and good,” he said. “Things like today are a great way to get out and support your community and support people in need.”

Radcliff and Summers said they’re astounded by the number of people willing to help their nephew.

“We’re just overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s been amazing to see how many people from all stages of our lives have shown up and rallied together,” Radcliff said.

“It gives us faith in the community,” Summers said.

If you weren’t able to attend today, the family is planning on holding another blood drive for Onyx soon.

There is always a need for blood donation. You can find a blood drive near you by visiting redcross.org or downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor app.

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Family holds blood drive for one-year-old boy fighting cancer