Blood drive honors employee’s battle with rare disorder

Community members are invited to give blood to help area hospital patients like Rogers EyeWest Patient Coordinator Kelly Myers.

This summer marks the third year of Kelly Myers’ blood drive, set for Thursday, Aug. 10, from 1 to 6 p.m. at EyeWest in Rogers.

Diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder in 2013, Myers, Patient Coordinator for Eyewest Vision Clinic & Optical, began undergoing biweekly treatments for the condition known as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). Her intravenous immunoglobulin treatments combine the antibodies from more than 1,000 blood donors to help her fight the disease—meaning new and returning blood donors are what make these treatments possible for her.

“I’ve been told it takes 25,000–30,000 blood donations to support my treatments for a year,” Myers said. “I am so grateful for helping build awareness about the need for blood.”

EyeWest Vision Clinic & Optical will host a blood drive with locally based Memorial Blood Centers (MBC). The blood drive comes at a time when MBC has declared an urgent need for blood in order to keep inventory stable for local hospitals.

“Summer months are hard for blood centers and local hospitals, because although the demand for blood is constant, the supply is not,” said Memorial Blood Centers Recruiter Maggie Schneider. “Schools are out of session, people take vacations, and donors are enjoying the weather. We need to work extra hard to maintain a stable supply of blood during this time.”

Blood donors can schedule their appointment for Myers’ blood drive by visiting MBC.ORG/searchdrives and entering sponsor code 4459, or by calling Maggie Schneider at 651-332-7171.