Metro Detroit family grateful for donations that kept young daughter alive during cancer treatments

Blood drive hosted Thursday and Friday, sponsored by Gardner-White Furniture

Local family grateful for lifesaving blood

Collecting enough blood donations to meet the constant need was a challenge for the American Red Cross before the coronavirus pandemic.

Collecting that much blood with so many colleges, workplaces and other blood drive locations closed has been even more difficult.

For children battling cancer, blood and platelet transfusions are often needed. While chemotherapy fights the cancer, the blood keeps them alive.

That’s why one Metro Detroit family wants to make sure that blood is always there for anyone who needs it.

RELATED: COVID-19 plasma shortage: Donors could win trip to Super Bowl next year

4-year-old Lena Kaczur and her sister Stana are the center of their parent’s universe. It’s not something Amanda and William take for granted.

When Lena was 18-months-old, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

“She received her first transfusion within the first 12 hours of us being in the hospital,” William Kaczur recalled. “Without that transfusion, we wouldn’t have been able to make the step two, step three, step four.”

Throughout her treatment, blood was critical. She needed 32 blood transfusions to stay alive. Had she missed any of them, she might not have survived.

Lena is now two years distanced from her treatment and is cancer-free.

The family speaks about their gratitude for her blood donors every day.

The Kaczurs are now frequent donors. Amanda donates platelets every week or two and William donates blood as often as possible.

“I had a friend who posted about her son not being able to get a transfusion due to the almost empty shelves of blood and platelets, and I thought about that time when Lena was in treatment, and how I almost took for granted that it was always there,” Amanda Kaczur said.

For Lena’s birthday, the family held a blood drive in her honor. They collected more than 50 pints of blood.

They’re hoping more people will consider donating, especially during these challenging times.

To help meet the need, Local 4 has teamed up with the American Red Cross and Gardner-White Furniture to hold blood drives Thursday and Friday across Metro Detroit.

READ: American Red Cross hosting blood drive in Metro Detroit this week

Appointments are strongly encouraged. To make an appointment, visit, call 800-RED-CROSS or go to the Blood Donor App, using the sponsor code: gardnerwhite

All donors at the drives will receive a coupon for $50 off a Gardner-White purchase of at least $399 and be entered to win a $500 Gardner-White gift certificate. Drawings will be held for each location.

Blood donation opportunities at Gardner-White Furniture location:

Jan. 14: 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

  • Ann Arbor (3725 Washtenaw Ave.)
  • Auburn Hills (4445 N. Atlantic Blvd)
  • Brighton (8393 W. Grand River Ave.)
  • Canton (39453 Ford Road)
  • Macomb (45300 Hayes Road)
  • Warren (4400 E. 14 Mile Road)
  • Waterford (4945 Dixie Highway)

Jan. 15: 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

  • Novi (43825 West West Oaks Drive)
  • Taylor (7680 S. Telegraph Road)

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.