At this time, we require both staff and donors to wear a face covering at blood drives or donation centers. Appointments are also strongly recommended.

Blood Drive for Tinlee

“Blindsided.”

That is how Taylor Kimbrough said she felt on Feb. 5, 2019, upon learning her 2 ½-year-old daughter, Tinlee, had been diagnosed with leukemia.

It is an understandable reaction considering a week before Tinlee was a seemingly healthy toddler. A few days prior to her diagnosis Tinlee was jumping around on a trampoline when she complained her knees hurt. Taylor figured a little knee pain wasn’t out of the ordinary considering the activity, but when Tinlee woke up and couldn’t walk it raised a red flag. 

Taylor and her husband, Tony, took their daughter to an urgent care facility where they were told everything was fine. However, Tinlee’s pediatrician had a different opinion after viewing the X-ray that had been taken at the urgent care facility.

“Our doctor called us at 10 p.m. and said he wanted to see Tinlee first thing in the morning,” Taylor said. “He took some blood and by 6 p.m. Tinlee had been admitted to the hospital.”

The doctors at the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood told the Kimbroughs their daughter had childhood Leukemia, specifically B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

“Everything was happening so fast – we were completely blindsided,” Taylor said. “Tinlee started chemotherapy two days later and she spent a week in the hospital. It was the most difficult week of my life.”

Eighteen months later things have improved dramatically. Taylor said Tinlee is “doing well” and in remission. While she is still dealing with side effects from her oral chemotherapy, Tinlee has gained weight and strength.

“She is doing so many things that she didn’t have the strength or courage to do throughout the last year,” Taylor said. “After her diagnosis she couldn’t walk for six weeks, but now she is acting like a toddler. She loves being outside, climbing, jumping and playing with her baby dolls. We are so proud of what she has accomplished.

Part of Tinlee’s treatment included multiple transfusions of blood products. Taylor said her daughter required two transfusions of platelets and two transfusions of whole blood to offset the chemotherapy. 

In an effort to show their appreciation for the blood donors who helped Tinlee and to help make blood available to patients in need, the Kimbroughs are hosting a blood drive with Vitalant from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. The drive will take place on two bloodmobiles outside the Kimbrough’s home, 10733 Revere Road in Mokena. Those interested in donating blood can sign up here or call 877.25VITAL. Mention Group Code 997B.

All successful blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies and results will appear in the Wellness section of a donor’s online account within two weeks following their donation. Testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies is the first step to becoming a convalescent plasma donor to help patients fighting the virus now. Learn more here.

Thousands of volunteers blood drive coordinators partner with us to ensure a safe blood supply is available for patients who need it. 

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