August 04, 2014
My name is Valerie Stirling and up until the last year and a half, I was like many of you: Work, family, and donating to charity as time or funds allowed. Over a year ago, my husband and I were in a minor car accident in which I’d suffered the bulk of the injuries. I was in the middle of receiving treatments for these injuries when I was hospitalized with a strange and rare autoimmune illness that was destroying the hemoglobin (red blood cells) in my body. Not knowing where or how I developed it, what the doctors called Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia has been the scariest and most exhausting experience my family and I have been through.
Since that first hospitalization I have been in and out of the hospital almost every month (and yes, this included almost every major holiday). The one constant of this illness has been the continued immune crisis that causes my hemoglobin to drop to dangerous levels, and the need for multiple blood transfusions. How is it then that I’m here today to write this? Strength, family, and doctors all play a role, but in a very practical sense I’m here because of Unyts.
While doctors scrambled to support me and uncover my illness I received near constant transfusions, numbering over 100 in the year 2013 alone. All of these transfusions were provided by Unyts; they were provided by people like you. Each donation came from a local individual, because that is what Unyts does.
Even though I still struggle with my autoimmune disease everyday and still require blood transfusions, I have decided to do my best to give back to the community! On July 21, my business associates and I sponsored a blood drive, through which we aimed to give back to Unyts and our local community a special gift – the gift of life.
By donating through Unyts we aren’t helping a stranger across the globe, we help a neighbor. We help someone just like me.
The drive honoring Valerie Stirling drew 28 donors, including seven first-time donors.
4444 Bryant and Stratton Way
Williamsville, NY 14221