In honor of our Board President Paul Elwood, CASA will be hosting a Blood Drive facilitated by the Blood Bank of Delmarva. Please join us in donating on July 13th from 9;00 AM-3;00 PM at the North East VFW. We encourage you to share with your friends and family. Feel free to contact the CASA office with any additional questions and don’t forget to sign up today!
Click on Button to Donate: Blood Bank of Delmarva
Location: Elkton United Methodist Church E.U.M.C., 5717, 219 E Main St, Elkton, MD 21921
Time: July 13, 2018, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
If you would like to register for the July 13 blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Elkton U.M.C.*, please call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 and use code EUMC.Article from Delmarva Blood Bank Webste:
Blood transfusions saved his life in his battle against cancer. Now, he aims to spread the word.
Paul Elwood of Rising Sun, Md. has never felt sorry for himself after being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing an aggressive treatment plan.
Being in the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center’s transfusion room with a pregnant woman also receiving blood in her fight against cancer put things in perspective for Elwood.
“You realize at that point that you might be struggling with something, but there are other families struggling with things much more significant,” Elwood said. “When you walk into the transfusion unit and you see a pregnant woman sitting there in need of blood, it’s a shocker.
“The assumptions we all have are, unfortunately, based on our own ignorance at times,” Elwood said. “Without readily available blood, you’re out of luck. That’s not what we want.”
Elwood, 72, was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a condition in which the body no longer makes enough healthy blood cells. He started to notice he was no longer as energetic as he once was back in December. By February, he was hospitalized and spent 34 days in the transfusion unit at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center receiving platelets and red blood cells.
His cardiologist was concerned when Elwood’s hemoglobin dropped to 5.7. (Men cannot donate blood unless they have a hemoglobin level of at least 13.) And his platelet count was dangerously low, with his doctor telling him he would have bled to death with a simple cut.
“My life was maintained by 20 transfusions,” Elwood said. “If they hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Part of his treatment also included a bone marrow transplant that changed his blood type from A to O positive.
Elwood, a married father of two and grandfather to four, has been overwhelmed by the response of several former students and Army buddies. Several of them have committed to giving blood in Elwood’s name at the Christiana (Del.) Donor Center, or at the blood drive being held in Elwood’s honor on July 13 at Elkton United Methodist Church.
Elwood is a retired administrator and teacher for Maryland schools, including Rising Sun, North East and Perryville. He also served as an infantry officer for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
“It’s good to see,” Elwood said. “They raised their hands and said, ‘I’ve got blood, will travel.’ But it didn’t have to be in my name. They would have done it regardless.”
Given his ordeal, Elwood has been on a mission to spread the awareness of the constant need for blood. Elwood wants people to give blood whenever they can for everyone who needs it. His message is mainly aimed at what he believes is a whole host of people that have not come in to the Blood Bank yet because they may be a little squeamish about needles. However, he believes these folks are reachable.
“If a little tingle from a needle is the worst thing that happened to you, you’re having a good day,” Elwood said. “If people could relieve their anxiety, and just say, hey look, I’m not going to die for this needle stick. But, there’s a good chance when I get up from this, what I’ve provided may prevent someone else from dying. I think I’d just keep focusing on that.”
Elwood had a six-day relapse two weeks ago, but on Tuesday he received good news at the Graham Cancer Center, with his blood work showing normal levels. There have been ups and downs but, at this point, things are looking up for Elwood.
“The only thing keeping me ticking were the blood transfusions. That’s not to diminish the care I was getting here [at the Graham Center], which was great.”
Elwood encourages people to give whenever they can, not just for the blood drive being held in his honor. Having said that, if you would like to register for the July 13 blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Elkton U.M.C.*, please call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 and use code EUMC.
The Blood Bank of Delmarva serves all 19 hospitals in Delmarva and must maintain a seven-day supply of blood.
*Note: This drive replaces a previously scheduled drive on June 15 that BBD had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. We sincerely apologize to all donors who were inconvenienced and look forward to a successful drive in Paul Elwood’s honor.