PRESTON — A Mid-Shore woman will host a blood drive for the Blood Bank of Delmarva from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the Preston Volunteer Fire Company.
Dawn Jones was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore three times this year and was transfused with about 50 units of blood as part of her battle with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.
She was hospitalized from Jan. 19 to Feb. 2, Feb. 4 to March 6 and April 8 to April 14 as this serious illness caused bleeding in her small intestine. Doctors could not stop the bleeding after four colonoscopies, three endoscopies and a nuclear medicine procedure.
As a last resort, she was put on a chemotherapy every two weeks for 12 weeks and an oral medication to control the blood loss. Finally, that combination of treatments stopped the bleeding.
Throughout this ordeal, replacing the blood Jones lost was a critical part of her treatment.
“My family and I could not possibly be more blessed, grateful and thankful that there was enough blood donated to be able to buy my medical team the time they needed to control my bleeding,” Jones said. “Without the blood I received, I would have lost my life.”
The 50 units of blood Jones received this year came after she received eight units during a hospital stay in 2016.
To give back, Jones is working with BBD account executive Ralph Groves to host a blood drive at Preston Volunteer Fire Company in Preston on Saturday. The Preston firehouse was the logical choice for her blood drive because it’s where Jones holds the Bears That Care Toy Drive Mid-Shore, an organization for which she serves as president.
“During my time in the hospital, my family, friends and community were wanting to help me,” Jones said. “Unfortunately, at that time, there was not much anyone could do. My daughters and I felt as if hosting a blood drive would allow people to actually step up and help in some way.
“I also have always felt blood donation is very important to keep our blood banks stocked adequately for someone’s time of need. It is a matter of life and death.”
Jones aims to register at least 50 donors.
On the day of the In Honor of Dawn Jones Blood, Preston Fire also will host a Christmas in July crafts show to raise money for the toy drive. The drive is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 20, at 3680 Choptank Road, Preston.
To sign up for the blood drive, call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit www.delmarvablood.org.