Owasso Teen Diagnosed With Cancer Promotes Blood Donations

Thursday, June 30th 2011, 9:19 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Green Country boy undergoing treatment for cancer is rallying support for blood drives. Trace McWhirt, 13, was diagnosed only two months ago and says he's alive because of blood donors.

"I have leukemia," he said.

Trace was diagnosed with cancer on May 13, 2011, and the leukemia caused a rare defect where two chromosomes fused together. He had to learn how to say it.

"Philadelphia Chromosome ALL Acute and there's some other stuff," he said.

Treatment started immediately at Saint Francis Children's Hospital.

"They started me on chemo really quick, so I was asleep and tired for most of the first bit and I don't really remember it," he said.

Every step of the way, Trace was using blood from the Oklahoma Blood Institute.

"Plasma, red blood, platelets and cryoprecipitate. If he didn't get those, I honestly think he would have bled out," Tonya Blair, Trace's mom, said.

Trace never actually used whole blood; rather 36 units of various blood products, thanks to donors.

"It's the most selfless act a person can do," his mother said.

"I'm in remission now actually," Trace said. "I think I actually freaked the doctors out a little bit because of how quick it went into remission."

Trace wants others to donate at the Oklahoma Blood Institute's upcoming blood drive to help the thousands of people who need blood or blood products every day.

"If people will come to this fun event tomorrow [Friday] at the Driller's Stadium, we're not going to have to worry about having the type of blood products that he needs, when he needs them next," Sara Wilson with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, said.

And for anyone considering not giving blood:

"What if they got stuck in the hospital for 18 days and needed blood? Would they want it?" Trace asked.

Anyone 16 years old and up who donates blood Friday between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at ONEOK Field in downtown Tulsa will receive two tickets to the July 4th Drillers game.