The Mooty-Antonellis are thankful that the season of giving never ends when it comes to the generosity of American Red Cross blood donors. Every three weeks, four out of five family members rely on a lifesaving gift of donated blood to keep them healthy and active.
Tracy Antonelli and her daughters Emmie, Rosie and Frannie Mooty have beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder that reduces an oxygen carrying protein (hemoglobin) causing fewer red blood cells to exist in the body than normal. Combined they have received nearly 500 units of blood.
Without blood transfusions, individuals with beta thalassemia can suffer from severe fatigue, weakness, paleness and slow growth. When left untreated, it can lead to problems in the liver, heart and spleen.
This holiday their family is able to visit Santa, view holiday lights, decorate their Christmas tree, bake cookies, and even wear matching jammies thanks to the donated blood that keeps Tracy and her girls feeling their best.
Give Something that Means Something
Blood donation is truly an act of kindness that patients depend on. When their three-week threshold is near, Tracy and her daughters become lethargic and can feel that a blood transfusion is needed.
“Blood donations mean life for our family. They allow our daughters to grow, learn, play and thrive. Receiving blood keeps me healthy and helps me be the best mother I can be to the girls,” says Tracy.
Join in making a lifesaving blood donation today. Type O blood donors are especially needed right now. Having enough type O blood on the shelves is important for ongoing patient care and emergencies.
Schedule an appointment to give blood with the American Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.
Rare Blood Disorder Led to an Extraordinary Love
Tracy knew her path to motherhood would begin with adoption, but was not actively seeking opportunities. “One day I clicked on this email and it was a little picture of Emmie, and underneath her picture it said thalassemia, and I remember that my heart stopped,” said Tracy. “Just seeing that there was this little girl that had a blood disorder kicked everything into motion.”
Tracy and her husband, Patrick Mooty, traveled to China two additional times to adopt daughters Rosie and Frannie. Upon arrival they saw how blood is not readily available there and how individuals with thalassemia are forced to wait to receive blood transfusions.
This year Emmie, Rosie and Frannie’s blood transfusions had to be moved up one day so they could wake up to Santa’s presents under the tree, and enjoy Christmas day with friends and family instead of at the hospital. While store-bought presents are nice, Tracy feels even luckier to receive blood from donors willing to help strangers like she and her daughters.
“It’s wonderful for kids to have presents under the tree, but I truly believe the greatest gift that we get is blood. Because that’s what lets us live the life that we are living,” assures Tracy. “We can promise all of the blood donors that we are putting that gift to good use. Using it to spread love and happiness.”
Helpful Information When Considering Blood Donation
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.