Clarkston family grateful for blood donors helping 4-year-old fight leukemia

Gardner-White partners with Red Cross to host blood drives

CLARKSTON, Mich. – A Clarkston family is expressing gratitude for the many people who have rolled up their sleeves this summer to donate blood.

Matt and Emily Buchanan’s 4 year-old son Jackson is fighting leukemia. He has needed multiple transfusions of blood and platelets throughout his treatment.

The Buchanans want to raise awareness of how much each of those donations is needed and appreciated.

“It’s not really on your radar. I mean, for most people, it’s like, ‘OK, we know that there’s blood drives, people benefit from it,’ but until you are directly affected, somehow you really see that tangible effect, and for Jack especially, it’s so literally a lifesaver,” said Matt Buchanan.

“People have come up to us and said, ‘You know, I’ve always been too afraid’ or you know, ‘I just didn’t think that I’d be able to, but now that I know that your son benefits from that, I’m gonna go. I’m gonna go for my first time’ and those are the ones that are really cool to hear about the first-time donors,” said Emily Buchanan.

Jackson has more treatment ahead, but he has made it through a particularly difficult phase.

“He’s gone through it. He’s gone through the thick of it. And he’s come out the other side, just like he was when he started, but better,” said Matt Buchanan.

As they work to support Jackson, the Buchanans are grateful for the people lifting them up.

“Friends, family, the whole community has been above and beyond when it comes to support,” said Matt Buchanan. “Couldn’t have done it without them.”

The family is also grateful to long-time blood drive sponsor Gardner-White. After seeing the rough condition of their old couch, the company gifted them a brand new one.

“It’s amazing. We certainly appreciate it and with everything that we’ve gone through, you know, buying a couch wasn’t really in the cards for us for a little bit,” said Emily Buchanan.

The Buchanans hope everyone who can will continue to donate blood, for Jackson and so many others who need it.

“For something that will take maybe half hour, 45 minutes out of your day, it’s going to help somebody in dire need,” said Matt Buchanan.

You can donate blood on Thursday, August 17 at Gardner White stores in Auburn Hills, Canton, Howell, Shelby Township, Warren, and Waterford.

---> Gardner-White partners with American Red Cross to host blood drives in Metro Detroit: What to know

You can also schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting or calling 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), sponsor code: gardnerwhite.

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.