Temple football staffer’s leukemia recovery underscores critical need for blood donors

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Labor Day weekend was presupposed to mark an thrilling finish of summer time for Kane Ivers-Osthus. The Temple University football workforce was opening its season in opposition to Villanova and his dad and mom had been visiting from Florida for the massive sport.

But because the weekend bought underway, the Owls assistant tools supervisor felt ailing. His pores and skin grew pale and finally yellow. His spleen infected.

A visit to Temple University Hospital resulted in some robust information: Ivers-Osthus, 24, had leukemia. He was positioned right into a medically-induced coma and wanted a number of blood transfusions.

“That blood saved his life in the critical hours,” stated Sarah Galbraith, Kane’s girlfriend. “You don’t get a transfusion unless you need it. It’s miraculous.”

By the time Ivers-Osthus was launched from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in mid-October, he had survived a life-threatening response to his preliminary therapy and obtained greater than 80 blood transfusions.

Tests now not present indicators of most cancers, Galbraith stated, however his physique nonetheless has the mechanisms to provide cancerous cells.

“He’s still in the thick of it,” she stated. “It’s amazing, because I didn’t know how this was going to turn out and it was so scary. I would like to say I’m a glass half-full person, but I always prepare for the worse. It’s really rewarding to see how he’s turned around.”

Kane stated his leukemia battle has taught him to understand life’s little issues and revealed how a lot individuals cared about him. But it additionally underscored one other lesson – the significance of donating blood.

“This area is an important region because of how big our trauma centers are and our population. It’s safe to say when people donate in this area, the blood always stays in this area.” – Guy Triano, CEO, American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

“I didn’t realize how big of a blood shortage there was in Philadelphia,” Kane stated. “(Galbraith) and Temple football put a blood drive together in honor of me. They said that was the most successful one they’ve had in recent Philadelphia history.”


The American Red Cross should gather greater than 13,000 blood donations daily to satisfy hospital and affected person demand, together with 800 within the Penn Jersey area, an space that features all of New Jersey, Delaware and the 5 Southeastern Pennsylvania counties.

When the Red Cross has lower than a three-day provide of most blood varieties – because it did earlier this month – officers difficulty an emergency attraction for blood and platelet donations. All instructed, the Red Cross provides about 40 p.c of the nation’s blood and blood elements.

Blood merchandise are perishable. Red blood cells should be used inside 42 days of donation. For platelets, a critical clotting element typically wanted by most cancers sufferers, the shelf life is even shorter – 5 days.

“This area is an important region because of how big our trauma centers are and our population,” stated Guy Triano, chief government officer of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. “It’s safe to say when people donate in this area, the blood always stays in this area.”

Senior residents – individuals age 65 or older – obtain extra blood transfusions than any age demographic within the United States, accounting for 50 p.c of all blood transfusions, based on the AABB.

But blood merchandise are wanted by individuals with various situations. They are repeatedly used throughout organ transplant surgical procedures, trauma care and most cancers therapies. Patients with sickle cell illness, autoimmune issues and different power sicknesses typically require blood, too.

Because the blood provide should continually be replenished, Triano stated the Red Cross strives to ascertain lifelong donors by holding blood drives at colleges. Last yr, highschool and college-age college students accounted for 20 p.c of all collections.

“Our big focus is not to age out our donors,” Triano stated. “We try to focus our attention on high school and colleges. It’s the biggest population for us. ”


Watching Ivers-Osthus battle leukemia was essentially the most tough second of her life, Galbraith stated. He obtained transfusion after transfusion till his launch from HUP on October 17. Now, he receives frequent chemotherapy therapies.

“It was pretty surreal how the world did a 180 on us,” Galbraith stated. “It really showed us who mattered in the world and who we could rely on and how important it is to take care of yourself.”

Galbraith wished to assist in an even bigger approach. So she helped arrange a blood drive at Edberg-Olson Hall, the house of Temple’s football program.

“The people who donated blood – they saved his life.” – Sarah Galbraith, girlfriend of Kane Ivers-Osthus

By the time the occasion was held, on November 11, Ivers-Osthus had been transferred to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, the place he stays in an outpatient program. Nearly 130 individuals – many related to Temple – confirmed as much as give blood, and greater than 100 items had been collected.

“It was really rewarding to organize the blood drive,” Galbraith stated. “We know we had a good team, a good army. Having them come out and fight for Kane was amazing.”

Ivers-Osthus stated he can bear in mind little of his hospitalization, as a result of he was in a coma for a lot of it. But he stated all of the help gave him a purpose to maintain combating.

“It’s been kinda crazy,” he stated. “I wouldn’t say you think you’re invincible, but you don’t think this would ever happen to you. And then sure enough, it flips your whole world upside down. It shows you to appreciate the little things in life and the things people do for you.”

Both he and Galbraith urge individuals to contemplate donating blood, figuring out nicely that it could possibly save lives.

“The people who donated blood – they saved his life,” Galbraith stated.

The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania hosts about 25 blood drives every weekday, Triano stated. It holds one other 15-20 donor occasions on Saturdays and Sundays.

Potential donors can discover a listing of public blood drives by visiting RedCrossBlood.org. They can also schedule an appointment on the web site or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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