October 12, 2011
Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Michele Hyndman (650) 723-8237
Tim Gilmore (650) 444-5767
STANFORD, Calif. —Most kids don’t celebrate their first birthday by hosting a blood drive, but few of them have had a year like Newark, Calif., resident Scarlett Wecks. Scarlett turns 1 on Oct. 16, andwill celebrate her extraordinary first year of life with a blood drive on Oct. 22 benefiting the Stanford Blood Center.
Scarlett’s parents, Chris and Brandi Wecks, noticed a small bruise above their daughter’s left eye when she was 2 months old. Just three days before Christmas, they learned Scarlett had a large brain tumor and her chances of survival were slim. Doctors initially told them hospice care was their only option, but a second opinion offered the family hope. In January, Scarlett underwent two brain surgeries at Oakland Children’s Hospital to remove the tumor, and then began a yearlong course of chemotherapy at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.
“There was a point during the chemotherapy when Scarlett was getting a blood transfusion once a week,” said her mother, Brandi. “Over the summer her blood counts got so low, I could take one look at her and know she needed a transfusion.” The Stanford Blood Center is the primary supplier of blood for patients at Packard Children’s Hospital.
Scarlett has spent a combined total of more than 100 days at the two hospitals. When she concludes chemotherapy treatment this winter at Packard Children’s, Scarlett will undergo a cranioplasty at the Oakland hospital to reconstruct the left side of her skull.
“We also want to make sure there is blood available for the other kids we see in the clinic,” said Brandi. Scarlett’s birthday blood drive will take place Oct. 22 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 35450 Cedar Blvd.
Donors should be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms. They must eat well prior to donation, drink fluids and present photo identification at the time of donation. The process takes about an hour. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (888) 723-7831 or visit smstaging.stanford.edu/bloodcenter. For online appointments, click “schedule an appointment” and search by zip code “94560.”
The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://mednews.stanford.edu. The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. For information about all three, please visit http://stanfordmedicine.org/about/news.html.
Stanford Blood Center was created at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978 to meet the complex transfusion needs of Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, as well as provide tailored blood products and clinical trial services for school researchers. Today the center provides blood products to eight local hospitals and is a recognized leader in the field of transfusion medicine. More information is available at https://bloodcenter-stg.stanford.edu.