Blood Drive on Wednesday to Honor Hamilton Boy
Anthony Mazzella, 8, has severe Aplastic Anemia, a rare life-threatening blood disorder where the bone marrow no longer makes red or white blood cells, nor platelets.
Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by Community Blood Council of New Jersey.
For those who do not know, January is "National Blood Donor Awareness Month." While we at the Community Blood Council of New Jersey (CBCNJ) would like to recognize those who take time out of their day to come into our center to donate blood or platelets, we also want to take the time to tell about those who need help in their personal journeys.
This is the story about the Mazzella Family of Hamilton Township. Sal and Nicole Mazzella have a family of three children, Sammy (age 11), Lexi (age 9), and Anthony (Age 8).
In May of 2011, Anthony was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia, a rare life-threatening blood disorder where the bone marrow no longer makes red or white blood cells, nor platelets. This condition affects approximately 600-900 people per year. The only known cure is a bone marrow transplant.
Anthony required numerous blood and platelet transfusions to stay alive while a search for a bone marrow match was under way. Luckily, in June, Anthony’s sister Lexi was deemed to be a perfect match.
Anthony and Lexi went through the procedure on July 9. Both children were very brave and it all went well, until July 24, 2012, when Anthony contracted a rare form of fungal pneumonia and a portion of his lung had to be removed. Anthony is young, but he is a fighter.
Anthony remains on home schooling, two hours per day and he is returning on his journey to being a "normal" active 8-year old.
On Jan. 22, 2013, the Mazzella’s finally received the good news that Anthony will no longer be on his IV meds. They are switching him to an oral antifungal.
"I'm excited, but at the same time very nervous. This has been his lifeline since July and it has sadly become part of our daily routine. Another adjustment, but another step in the right direction!" say’s Nicole, his mom.
This will relieve a ton of stress and anxiety and will help him to feel "normal" again. He will never be out of the woods, and he will visit the hospital for the rest of his pediatric life.
The next six months will consist of getting and keeping Anthony’s blood counts in the normal range. He can't go to the beach or swim in a pool until one year after the transplant. He will return to school in September 2013. Life is getting back to normal.
For many people, however, life is anything but normal like those that the Mazzella’s experienced.
The Mazzella family, in conjunction with CBCNJ, will host a blood drive in Bordentown on Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 1:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Bordentown Regional High School to help others like Anthony in need of the "gift of life."
The Mazzella family and CBCNJ would like to urge everyone who can to come out and donate to honor Anthony Mazzella at Bordentown Regional High School 318 Ward Ave., Bordentown, so that every man, woman and child in need like Anthony can continue to enjoy life, and so that we can enjoy them.
To schedule your appointment call the Community Blood Council of New Jersey at (609) 883-9750 Ext. 145 or log on to schedule an appointment at www.GiveBloodNJ.org. Walk-ins are always welcome.