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Owasso Teen Cancer Patient Puts Face On Need For Blood Donors

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Trace McWhirt has been battling cancer for two years now. In that time, he's needed 300 blood transfusions to help win the fight. Trace McWhirt has been battling cancer for two years now. In that time, he's needed 300 blood transfusions to help win the fight.
Trace hasn't been to a full day of school since he was diagnosed. His bedroom has pretty much been the children's hospital. Trace hasn't been to a full day of school since he was diagnosed. His bedroom has pretty much been the children's hospital.
His mother, Tonya Blair said, "He has Philadelphia chromosome-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia." His mother, Tonya Blair said, "He has Philadelphia chromosome-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia."
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A night out at the ballpark put a face on the need for blood Wednesday night.

Trace McWhirt has been battling cancer for two years now. In that time, he's needed 300 blood transfusions to help win the fight.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute teamed up with the Tulsa Drillers to host the "All-American" blood drive.

There were three blood mobiles at ONEOK Field and a great turnout there to see Trace take to the mound.

Trace is one of baseball's biggest fans.

"My dream is to play in college. That's all I want, I don't even have to make it to the majors, I just want play in college, get a scholarship," he said.

6/21/2012 Related Story: Teen Diagnosed With Cancer Rallies Support For Blood Donations

But for the past of couple of years, Trace has traded in trips to the ball field for trips to the hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and ended up with a rare defect, common in only about 5 percent of cancer patients.

His mother, Tonya Blair said, "He has Philadelphia chromosome-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia."

Trace hasn't been to a full day of school since he was diagnosed. His bedroom has pretty much been the children's hospital. Those are things that might bring down a normal 15-year-old boy, but not Trace.

"I've always kind of been a positive person, but it's a rough road, I will say. You just kind of put it in neutral and let it go, ya know, and you give up to the guy up stairs and hope everything goes okay," Trace said.

For Trace, that spirit has paid off. His cancer is in remission, he has energy again, a tan and even hair. But he's not out of the woods yet.

"He still has active chemo every four weeks, blood transfusions, any of that kind of stuff, as needed," Blair said.

In 24 months, Trace has received 300 pints of blood. He hasn't needed a transfusion since December, but he's quick to point out there are plenty of others in need. Some are friends he met in treatment.

"Kids are in the hospital, right now, still needing it and that's why we're out here today," Trace said.

Trace threw out a perfect pitch to start Wednesday night's Driller's game, putting a face to a cause that saved his life.

If it weren't for that blood, Trace said, "I wouldn't be here, it's just as simple as that.

"Just really, thank you for giving blood and helping people that you don't even know, complete strangers out."

Trace finishes his treatment in January or February, which is when he will officially declare himself cancer free.

He doesn't expect to have anymore long term stays at the hospital, so he'll be going back to school full-time in the fall. That will be just in time for his 16th birthday, which is in October.

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