Annual blood drive scheduled

SIDNEY — Christian Academy School is hosting its annual blood drive on Monday, Feb. 3.

Ninth and 10th grade students from Shelby and Miami counties help promote, setup, assist, and tear down the annual blood drive as they are learning the many uses of the blood through their studies.

The thought of saving someone’s life through donating blood has become a reality for a current CAS student. Micah Overbey is an energetic fourth grade boy who has found himself in need of blood transfusions to save his life. The most recent time was just this past December, according to his mother Monica Overbey.

Micah, of Sidney, has a blood disease called Hereditary Spherocytosis, which causes red blood cells to be shaped like spheres instead of flattened discs that curve inward. The spherical cells are less flexible than normal red blood cells. In a healthy body, the spleen starts the immune system’s response to infections. The spleen filters bacteria and damaged cells out of the blood stream. However, spherocytosis makes it difficult for red blood cells to pass through your spleen due to the cells’ shape and stiffness. The irregular shape of the red blood cells can cause the spleen to break them down faster. This breakdown process is called hemolytic anemia. A normal red blood cell can live for up to 120 days, but red blood cell with hereditary spherocytosis might live for as few as 10-30 days.

If Micah becomes ill, he cannot fight any viral or bacterial infection on his own, like a child with a healthy body. These viruses are very serious for him. A common cold can cause Micah to miss school or even be hospitalized.

Micah, whose father is Jason Overbey, has had four blood transfusion in his 10 years of life.

“These blood transfusions have literally saved his life. Without the donation our son would have died. His hemoglobin drops dangerously low and he becomes anemic,” Monica said. “He is no longer able to reproduce the red blood cells on his own. He must receive a blood transfusion, or he will not survive.

Most recently in December, Micah was hospitalized for a high fever. He was unable to fight off whatever viral infection was attacking his body. He was hospitalized for five days, Monica said.

“He was a very sick boy. His hemoglobin dropped critically low and he required an immediate blood transfusion. Only six days later he required a second transfusion because his hemoglobin dropped again,” she said. “His body could not reproduce the red blood cells on its own he had to have help. And that help came in the form of a blood donation.

“It was a very scary time for Micah and for us as his parents. Our son has improved and is doing so much better. Had it not been for a blood donor our story would have ended differently. Someone’s donation saved him. As parents we thank the people who selflessly donted blood. You truly gave life to our son. If anyone is questioning if their donation matters or debating on becoming a donor. Please, please know someone’s life does depend on your donation, our child’s did.”

To participate in the blood drive, visit www.donortime.com using sponsor code 1307 or contact Christian Academy Schools at (937) 492-7556 to sign up.

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