Red Cross blood drive in honor of sick toddler

Dozens of people in Livermore spent part of their New Year's Eve honoring a local girl in a unique way.
December 31, 2013 6:25:42 PM PST
Dozens of people in Livermore spent part of their New Year's Eve honoring a local girl in a unique way.

What a way to celebrate New Year's Eve. "Donate blood. That's it. Something small I can do for someone else," donor Rochelle Jue told ABC7 News.

The blood drive was in honor of Delaney Newton. The 2.5-year-old Livermore girl has endured 14 blood transfusions since being diagnosed with brain cancer in September. Her dad says getting together with the Red Cross to sponsor this drive is a way to give back.

"Being there now and seeing the need, how much blood Delaney needed and how much platelets, it brought to our eyes. If Delaney needs it, there are plenty of other people who need it too," Delaney's dad Merlin Newton said.

The blood donated Tuesday will make a major impact. "Each unit can help multiple patients, so we're looking at potentially hundreds of patients benefitting from this one blood drive," said Jared Schultzman with the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross says if they get 30 donors during a mobile blood drive, it's a good day. On Monday, they expected at least 130 and that's really not surprising because Delaney has captured the heart of her Livermore community. There have been fundraisers, her dad's fellow firefighters shaved their heads in support, and now a big turnout to donate blood.

"Merlin's like family to us so when this hit Merlin and his family, it hit us also," firefighter John Vargas told ABC7 News.

Delaney was home for Christmas but on Wednesday, she'll have another blood transfusion before starting her final rounds of chemo.

"It's very humbling what people are doing for us and the family. We're just very thankful," Merlin said.


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