GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – At just 6 years old, Teaguen Donahue learned the importance of blood donations, as they saved her life.
Teaguen was born with Von Willebrand disease, a lifelong bleeding disorder that prevents her blood from clotting properly. As a result, she has had to rely on blood donations from others.
On Friday, Teaguen and her family, employees at Doak Elementary School and community members held a blood and toy drive to help others in need.
“Sweet T`s Blood Drive” was held at the school in Tusculum. Donors were encouraged to also bring stuffed toys to donate to patients at Niswonger Children`s Hospital, in honor of Teaguen.
Due to stuffed aminals being a sense of comfort to the six-year-old Teaguen, she decided to add the stuffed animal drive along with the blood drive.
“When you get to the hospital and other kids have stuff, too, you should give it back to other kids and give joy to them,” Teaguen said.
Teaguen’s diagnosis of Type 2A Von Willebrand disease came after her parents, Cortni and Kyle, noticed Teaguen would bleed excessively through bandages. After a full medical analysis, Teaguen has received regular medical treatments through Niswonger Children`s Hospital to keep her health on the right track.
“Donating blood is not something that you often think about until your family member goes through something that you need blood for,” said Cortini Donahue. “We are just so hopeful that we will be able to give what has been given so freely and so humbly to us.”
The Donahues expressed their gratitude to the staff at Niswonger Children`s Hospital, for their contribution and how they educate the public on the importance of blood and plasma donations.
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood. About 55% of blood is plasma, and the remaining 45% is red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that are suspended in the plasma, according to the American Red Cross.
“When you donate with Marsh, you know that the blood products are going to stay here to help your friends, family and neighbors, much like Miss Teaguen, at a moment’s notice,” said Amy Margaret Elese with Marsh Regional Blood Center. “These donations are going straight to helping folks in your area.”
“The blood drive helps Teaguen and other children by giving life to them. It is such a gift of life that can so easily be given,” said Cortini Donahue.
Marsh Regional accepts appointments at any of its three locations in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City. Appointments can be made and walk-ins are welcome.