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Cohn Family

Charlotte, North Carolina

The Cohn family has seen first-hand the difference blood products can make for patients battling cancer, and they want to help.

Middle child Daniel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia T-Cell in 1999, at just 9 years old. His parents and siblings were with him every step of the way as he fought the terrible disease.

His younger sister, Alexis, stepped up to donate the bone marrow he needed for treatment. She was only 6 at the time.

Cohn Family

His older brother, Steven, even underwent a procedure to donate stem cells in the hopes of providing Daniel with a cure. Unfortunately, Daniel became too sick and was unable to receive them. He passed away Feb. 19, 2002, just two days after his birthday

Throughout his treatment, Daniel received numerous blood and platelet transfusions. His mom, Cathy, said he had more than 20. Radiation and chemotherapy, designed to destroy the bad cells in his body, also depleted the good ones, so platelet transfusions were vital after each round of treatment.

Daniel was resilient. He would receive his chemotherapy and immediately be ready to play in his All-Star team’s baseball games. He never let his illness hold him back.

Resilience is a trait that runs in the family. Since Daniel’s passing, Alexis and Steven have continued helping others in his memory.

“I think they are who they are because of what we went through,” Cathy said.

At age 10 or 11, Alexis began volunteering at the local hospitals. When she was in college earning her degree in Human Services, she got involved with Project Life Movement. She traveled to various colleges to tell her story and recruit students to register as bone marrow donors.

Now, Alexis donates platelets herself. It was her idea to bring Steven, already a blood donor, and Cathy in to give at our Charlotte center in Daniel’s memory. Cathy donated blood for the first time, and Steven gave platelets alongside Alexis.

“I thought it would be good to donate platelets and help out other cancer patients,” Alexis said. “Two hours is nothing compared to someone who is in a hospital bed for months or years at a time.”

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