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Moment of awe: patient personally thanks donors

Volunteer blood donors know they're transforming patients' lives with every donation, but donors rarely learn who they help. However, a Denver family recently granted permission to inform nearly 40 blood donors that they personally helped Quade Marks during his fight against cancer, giving them the rare chance to see the positive outcome of one of their donations. Fifteen of those donors attended Vitalant's Community Lifelines reception Aug. 7 and met Quade, now age 11, and his family face to face.

Red blood cell and platelet donations were integral in Quade's treatment starting in April 2016 at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver. Like many cancer patients, he required repeated transfusions over several months. Quade is starting sixth grade cancer free, able to return to the sports he loves including lacrosse and snowboarding.

"Some people say I'm a hero for fighting cancer but the real heroes are my doctors, nurses and donors," Quade said. "It's very cool that people donate their own blood to patients, like me, to help save our lives."

It really does take all types of blood donors to meet patient needs every day. Quade's donors include whole blood and platelet donors of seven different blood types: A+, A-, B+, AB+, AB-, O+ and O-. His donors range in age from 20 to 86 and live anywhere from Windsor to Colorado Springs. A few of his donors have given blood just that one time, but many more give regularly. There are even a few who've made upwards of 400 donations in their lifetime. Join the ranks of blood donors who help meet patient needs every day! Visit a Vitalant donation center or blood drive near you!