Sue Hanshaw is the Executive Director of Tricounty Family Ministeries. She says her life is dedicated to helping people. But Hanshaw admits painfully that she could not help her own daughter when she needed blood.
“My daughter Sherry Volario was 51 years old. She didn’t have enough platelets, blood product and by that happening she bled out.”
Hanshaw explains that her daughter was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer.
“AML leukemia and she had one of the rarest types. One that MUSC had never seen before.”
Hanshaw says it was during a routine visit to a pediatrician that Sherry discovered that she had blood cancer.
“Her daughter had congestion, she didn’t feel good. my daughter took her she decided to have blood work done at the same time on herself because wasn’t feeing and what they discovered at that little visit was that she AML Leukemia.”
Hanshaw says Sherry was undaunted by her diagnosis. She asked for help. And encouraged people to donate blood.
“She had no problem telling people ‘I need blood. I need blood to survive. I need platelets to survive. Please donate.’ She had no trouble with that”
According to the American Red Cross only 3 our of 100 people in the United States give blood. The only source of lifesaving blood products is volunteer blood donors.
“Thank God for the Red Cross. A donor came forward and we had enough blood for a few weeks and then it kind of dwindled…she didn’t get the platelets she needed to survive.”
Sherry Valerio passed away of complication related to Leukemia October 2018.
This situation made me aware of how important blood donation is. It can happen to anyone at any time…it can be a fluke, you might for the doctor but you might need blood. And if you do you want to be sure that there is some there for you.”