Updated, June 16, 2015: Extra slots have been added for a special blood donation drive being organized by two sets of West Hartford twins who have banded together to hold a blood drive in honor of one of the teens who is being treated for a blood cancer.
By Ronni Newton
Seventeen-year-old Seamus Turco, his twin brother Gabriel, and fellow twins Abby and Kate Gosselin, will host a blood drive this July in honor of Seamus who is currently undergoing treatment for lymphoblastic lymphoma, a blood cancer.
Appointment slots for the blood drive scheduled on July 23 in honor of Seamus Truco have already filled up, but the American Red Cross has opened up additional slots at other scheduled blood drives so that people can donate in honor of the West Hartford teen.
Donors are encouraged to register at one of the two additional blood drives listed below in West Hartford during the week prior:
- Monday, July 13 – Church of St. Peter Claver, 47 Pleasant St., West Hartford, CT. Hours are 1-6:15 p.m. and there are 37 appointments available.
- Thursday, July 16 – West Hartford Town Hall, 50 South Main St.t, West Hartford, CT. Hours are 1-6:15 p.m. and there are 40 appointments available.
“We appreciate the support of our family and the mission of the American Red Cross,” said Seamus’ mother, Helen Rubino-Turco, who is very grateful for the community’s response to the blood drive so far. “It is through the generosity of volunteer donors that the American Red Cross is able to help patients like Seamus.”
Participants may register for an appointment via www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Please let the staff know you are donating in honor of Seamus. There will be an “In Honor of Seamus” signup sheet at these additional blood drives, and donations will count towards the “In Honor of Seamus” effort.
Regardless of where or when donors participate in this special blood drive, all are welcome to stop by to say hello on July 23 at West Hartford Town Hall from 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Rubino-Turco said.
Seamus has received multiple blood transfusions as part of his treatment since his diagnosis in December 2014.
The foursome – Conard High School students who have been friends since elementary school – hope their efforts will ensure blood is available for patients in need, like Seamus. According to Stefanie Arcangelo at the American Red Cross, “Summer is a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs, partly because regular donors are traveling and vacationing and schools that host drives are out of session.”
“As twins, the foursome are encouraging all donors to bring a ‘twin’ – meaning a sibling, other relative, or friend – with them to donate blood in honor of Seamus,” said Helen Rubino-Turco, Seamus’ mother.
The foursome and their friends signed up donors at the mini golf desk at Celebrate West Hartford last weekend and already have a good list going, but are hopeful that more will volunteer to donate.
The blood drive in honor of Seamus Turco will be held on Thursday, July 23, from 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Auditorium at West Hartford Town Hall, 50 South Main St., West Hartford.
At the special blood drive on July 23, parking will be validated in the Auditorium on the 3rd floor of Town Hall.
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