TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Leukemia patient's family sponsors local blood drive

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Giving blood

Appointments to donate blood on Saturday in VFW Post 4843, 2125 Bailey Ave., Ford City, can be made by contacting Michael Bissell at 724-664-1050, or michael.j.bissell@gmail.com. Donors can also make an appointment through the CBB website, www.centralbank.org, by searching with the group code ZRTN1054. Walk-ins are welcome.

Daily Photo Galleries

Armstrong Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 12:41 a.m.
 

Friends and neighbors wishing to show support for an area student who has leukemia will get their chance to help on Saturday.

A blood drive sponsored by the family of Matthew Pickering, 16, of Manor will take place at VFW Post 4843, 2125 Bailey Ave., Ford City, from9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pickering is a 10th-grade student at West Shamokin High School and plays trombone in the marching band. He has been in and out of hospitals since being diagnosed with the disease on Thanksgiving Day in 2011 — often needing blood transfusions during treatment.

The blood drive in his name was organized to replenish the supply at Central Blood Bank and help others in need.

“The blood products he received saved his life,” said his mother, Lori, a registered nurse at ACMH Hospital in Kittanning. “We thought this would be a great way to give back.”

Pickering spent months on home rest punctuated with lengthy hospital stays for treatment after his diagnosis. In September, shortly after he was declared in remission for the leukemia and started back to school, Matt suffered a setback when doctors discovered he had another form of cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome — a rare side effect of chemotherapy.

The setback hit Lori and her husband, Dave, a licensed practical nurse for Concordia Visiting Nurses, hard. “It was hard because we all thought he had it beat,” his mother said.

On Dec. 20, the teen received a stem cell transplant at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. While not out of the woods — Pickering will spend the next two weeks at Children's Hospital in recovery before a transfer to the Ronald McDonald House next door — the family has reason to be encouraged.

“He's cancer-free right now,” his mother said.

The blood drive to help others was organized by Lori's brother, Michael Bissell.

Central Blood Bank supplies are suffering because of drives that were canceled because of the extreme cold temperatures during the last month, said Caitlyn Doyle, CBB communications specialist in Pittsburgh.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Armstrong

  1. South Buffalo airport gets Armstrong County funding for study
  2. Explosive second day at Camp Cadet in Manor
  3. Ownerless emu finds ‘buddy’ at new Greensburg home
  4. Kittanning 5K raising money for Habitat for Humanity
  5. Rural Valley judge hanging up robes after 34 years on the bench
  6. Plea withdrawals made harder by Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  7. Natural gas fueling station opens in East Franklin
  8. Ford City councilman says he plans on resigning
  9. Newest council member aims to make Ford City ‘best it can be’