Teen Diagnosed With Cancer Rallies Support For Blood Donations

Thursday, June 21st 2012, 11:11 pm
By: Tess Maune

Trace McWhirt was diagnosed with leukemia last May, and since then he's received more than 200 pints of blood throughout his treatment.

And he's not through yet.

McWhirt has been invited to throw out the first pitch at OneOK Field Friday.

But he'll be there for more than just baseball—The Oklahoma Blood Institute is holding a Blood drive that will support McWhirt and hundreds of other kids just like him.

6/30/2011 Related Story: Owasso Teen Diagnosed With Cancer Promotes Blood Donations

McWhirt is, in many ways, your typical 14-year-old boy.

"I like to go hunting and fishing as much as I can," said McWhirt. "I like to play baseball and video games, obviously, I guess."

But he isn't like every other kid his age.

"I have leukemia, I've had it since May of last year," McWhirt said.

McWhirt's mom, Tonya Blair said, "With his particular cancer, he has to do really hardcore treatment a whole lot more than the average, you know, kid that has the same type of cancer he has, because he has the chromosome defect that's very, very, very rare."

McWhirt undergoes chemo every 28 days.

And after each treatment, he receives blood from OBI.

"After the treatments, it pretty much kills your blood and then you get the blood products," McWhirt said.

McWhirt has used more than 200 units so far, and he'll continue to need blood for at least two more years.

Friday, OBI will host a blood drive at ONEOK field, similar to the one that was held when we met Trace, a year ago.

"Last year because of the story that was done with Trace McWhirt, one of our blood recipients, we had to turn between 40 and 60 people away," said Sara Wilson, of OBI.

This year that shouldn't be a problem. Friday, OBI will have two extra blood mobiles there, ready to support Trace's cause and so many others.

"Thank you for the people that have taken the time to do that for a lot of people that really, really need it," said McWhirt.