Rochester Hills mothers share stories of sons who rely on blood transfusions amid shortage

‘To know you’re paying it forward to someone is what we need more of in this world’

Two Rochester Hills mothers share stories of their son’s battles to help others in need of a lifesaving gift. Mariana Sadowski and Vanessa Cromie are asking everyone to roll up their sleeves and help not just their boys but countless others as warnings of a blood shortage hit home. Both sons rely on regular transfusions, including 10-year-old Stephen, who has been battling stage 4 neuroblastoma for six years. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Two Rochester Hills mothers share stories of their son’s battles to help others in need of a lifesaving gift.

Mariana Sadowski and Vanessa Cromie are asking everyone to roll up their sleeves and help not just their boys but countless others as warnings of a blood shortage hit home.

Both sons rely on regular transfusions, including 10-year-old Stephen, who has been battling stage 4 neuroblastoma for six years. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

“He’s had two blood transfusions already in the last three weeks,” said Sadowski. “And on Tuesday, he’s getting a platelet transfusion. It’s a matter of life or death, as far as for him because without his hemoglobin, the packed red blood cells, and without platelets, he’s got nothing.”

Cromie’s 12-year-old son Dylan has an immune deficiency.

“When Dylan gets sick, he gets sick for a very long time,” said Cromie. “And then his immune system is so confused. It starts attacking different parts of his body.”

Dylan needs regular treatments of IVIG which contains antibodies from thousands of blood donors. It’s literally the difference between spending the fall season on the football field or in the hospital.

“Thanks to IVING for him, he can go to school, he can play sports, he can be a regular kid, and that’s why this is so important,” Sadowski said.

Sadowski has organized a blood drive in honor of the boys to raise awareness of the need for new and regular donors.

“People have been asking me what they can do for Stephen,” Sadowski said. “This is how people can help. This is how people can feel that they’re supporting our boys.”

“To know you’re paying it forward to someone, a stranger,” Cromie said. “You know, that’s what we need more of in this world is just paying it forward and thinking of your entire community.”

“I just want people to come out and do it for somebody, in honor of somebody and just feel good about doing it,” Sadowski said.

The blood drive to honor of Stephen, Dylan, and their friend Owen will be this Monday (Sept. 26) at the Rochester Community House from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

You can make an appointment by visiting redcrossblood.org or call 1 800-Red-Cross (800-733-2767).

The moms stress if you donate this Monday, that is Okay whenever you can, and wherever you can, they just want you to give.


STEPHENSTRONG BLOOD DRIVE

Monday, September 26th

1:00pm to 7:00pm

Rochester Community House

816 Ludlow Ave

Rochester, Michigan 48307

Location: Lobby

Please share your donation online (whenever and wherever you make it) with the hashtag #StephenStrong.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.