Collinsville Teen Urges Donors To Give Life, Give Blood

A Collinsville student who has benefited from blood donations urges everyone to give the gift of life this holiday season.

Friday, December 16th 2011, 6:32 pm

By: Craig Day


Blood donations almost always drop between Christmas and New Years because people are traveling or get too busy. At the same time, the need often goes up, because of end of year surgeries, and more accidents during this time of heavy travel.

A big end of year blood drive will be held soon. One young man who has benefited from donations urges everyone to give the gift of blood this holiday season.

Collinsville student Blade Nelson was like just about every other teenager. He was active, energetic and enjoyed sports.

Then, Blade developed Leukemia at 12 years old.

"My stamina is really bad. And a lot of fatigue," he said.

Three years after his diagnosis, Blade just had his last round of chemo. Leukemia is a diagnosis no teen should get, and a worry no parent wants.

"At that point, you depend on your faith, and you're depending on the doctors to guide you through each step," said Tim Nelson, Blade's dad.

In addition to faith, community support, and caring teachers, Blade's dad also credits strangers for his son's survival.

"We were just blessed to be on the receiving end of people's generosity and kindness," Tim Nelson said.

That kindness came through blood donations. Blade was in the hospital for 45 days - 12 of those in the pediatric intensive care unit.

He received more than 20 blood transfusions.

"I probably wouldn't be here if people didn't give blood," said Collinsville freshman Blade Nelson.

Blade also benefited from donations of platelets.

"It makes you very emotional when you think about the unselfish acts of kindness," Blade's father said.

At a time when Blade should have been concentrating on English and history, he learned a lot about blood counts and biology. But he also discovered how kindness can help you heal, and how donations can make a difference.

"You could save someone's life, just by giving, what is it a pint of blood?" he said.

The Nelsons are grateful. And they know there are many others who need the same type of gift.

"Give," said father Tim Nelson. "My son is 15. He was 12 when he was diagnosed. He would have been forever 12 if somebody wouldn't have donated blood."

The Oklahoma Blood Institute is holding a big holiday blood drive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, December 29 at the Tulsa Convention Center.

If you donate, you'll get two free Tulsa 66ers basketball game tickets for their January 7th game. They'll also be giving out t-shirts, ice scrapers and will have health screenings.

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