Tampa Bay Cancer Patient In Critical Need Of Transfusion During Historic Shortage

LAND O’ LAKES (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay cancer patient has an urgent plea for the community — donate blood and platelets immediately.

Since the pandemic, there has been a 10% blood donation decline, according to the American Red Cross. In recent weeks, there has been less than a one-day supply of critical blood types. This means doctors are forced to make decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will have to wait. That is the case for Roxanne Donnery.

Donnery is dependent on weekly blood transfusions. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a terminal cancer.

“I was afraid to close my eyes last night,” Donney said.

She’s afraid of not knowing when she’ll get her next transfusion. Her platelet counts dramatically dropped below 10, causing bruising. She’s also at risk for internal bleeding.

“With the leukemia at this stage, I do not know when a bleeding incident could stop,” she said.

When Donnery went to her regular transfusion appointment at Moffitt Cancer Center on Wednesday she was told she couldn’t get it.

“Are you in the middle of an incident? How much is it bleeding? and they were questioning me and because I wasn’t, so I don’t qualify,” she said.

Donnery knows what her body needs.

“I was told you can’t get it and I said what about scheduling me for Friday? They said we can’t promise.”

That’s because of a historic blood shortage. News Channel 8 reached out to Moffitt and it shared this statement.

“The national blood shortage is affecting Moffitt Cancer Center, which has a very low supply of platelet units, causing us to restrict platelet transfusions to the patients in greatest need. An urgent notice about this shortage was sent to all of our hospital providers this week and the problem has not resolved. We encourage all healthy individuals to consider blood donation to provide red blood cells and platelets to cancer patients and others in need of these life-saving donations.”

Donnery said she is blessed that she’s been able to continue her life, but that’s because of her transfusions.

“We need blood donors,” she said. “We can’t get any, and that tells me it’s serious. I have to say wake up people please.”

Here’s a list of where you can donate:

OneBlood and Carrabba’s Italian Grill have teamed up to help fill this need by hosting bloodmobile blood drives in the restaurant parking lots starting next week:

Monday, May 16 from 12:00 PM- 6:00 PM

  • 1751 S Tamiami Trail Venice, FL, 34293

Tuesday, May 17

  • 11435 N Dale Mabry HWY Tampa, FL, 33618 from 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • 2106 Cortez West Bradenton, FL, 34205 from 12:00 PM- 6:00 PM
  • 10110 US HWY 19 N Port Richey, FL, 34668 from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • 33983 US HWY 19 N Palm Harbor, FL, 34684 from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • 16525 Pointe Village Drive Lutz, FL, 33558 from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Wednesday, May 18

  • 33983 US HWY 19 N Palm Harbor, FL, 34684 from 12:00 PM- 6:00 PM
  • 4829 South Florida Avenue Lakeland, FL, 33813 from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • 1205 Townsgate Court Plant City, FL, 33563 from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Thursday, May 19

  • 801 Providence Road Brandon, FL, 33511 from 10:30 AM – 8:30 PM
  • 11902 Sheldon Road Citrus Park, FL, 33626 from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • 3530 Tyrone Blvd St. Petersburg, FL, 33710 from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • 1951 4th Street North St. Petersburg, FL, 33704 from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • 700 N Dale Mabry HWY Tampa, FL, 33609 from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • 5515 E Fowler Ave Temple Terrace, FL, 33617 from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • 12957 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville, FL 34613 from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • 2680 Gulf to Bay Blvd Clearwater, FL, 33759 from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM

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