‘Trying to stay positive’ — donor clinics held for local woman

Jocelyn McGlynn. (Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn McGlynn via Facebook.)

Chatham-Kent residents will be rolling up their sleeves this weekend to donate blood in honour of a local 21-year-old woman.

A couple of blood donor clinics have been organized to take place in Chatham, in honour of Jocelyn McGlynn. The university student was recently diagnosed with acute myelomonocytic leukemia (AMML) in November.

The first blood drive is taking place from 9 a.m. until noon at the St. Clair College HealthPlex on Saturday.

McGlynn is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in London. Family-friend Christine Canniff — who organized the clinics — said blood transfusions are a big part of McGlynn’s treatment, which is why it’s important to donate. In addition to blood, McGlynn will need a stem cell transplant.

“The family is encouraging people to get out and donate blood but even more important is stem cells,” said Canniff. “If you are between the ages of 17 and 35, we would like to ask that you consider being a donor.”

Information about becoming a stem cell donor will be available at Saturday’s clinic but at the second clinic on January 9, there will be a swab event as well. The second clinic will take place at the Spirit and Life Centre on Wellington Street West, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m.

In the meantime, Canniff said the McGlynn family has been overwhelmed by the support they have received so far. At this point, they’re staying positive and hoping that people will register as donors, not just for Jocelyn but anyone who could benefit from blood and/or stem cells.

“There are good days and bad days but we’re just trying to stay positive right now and hopeful that we can find a stem cell donor,” said Canniff.

McGlynn will likely have to stay in the hospital for a couple more weeks, but Canniff said McGlynn may be able to go home sometime in January.

-With files from Cheryl Johnstone.