The family of little “superhero” Ethan McGettigan of Waterbury once again invites the community to donate potentially life-saving blood in honor of the 5-year-old at an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Sunday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Giamatti Little League Complex in Bristol. This year’s drive is also in support and honor of 18-year-old Kayla Krenicki of Bristol.
Kayla currently battles acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The Bristol Central High School graduate has received 38 blood transfusions since June 2016 and has also received a bone marrow transplant as part of her treatment. Kayla plans to study psychology at Southern Connecticut State University.
“Blood is a crucial part of treatment for a lot of children with cancer,” said Kayla in a press release from the American Red Cross. “It is especially important for me, seeing how leukemia effects the blood cells. The blood you donate gives kids like me another chance at life. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. It costs you nothing, but it is priceless to someone else. Share life. Give blood.”
Ethan was diagnosed with an anaplastic ependymoma right after his second birthday. An anaplastic ependymoma is a form of brain tumor that has required multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. Ethan has received numerous blood transfusions to help him in his battle. Donated blood helped the little superhero combat the side effects of chemo and gave him the strength to survive. Without those transfusions, his family may have had to face much more difficult decisions about his treatment and future.
“Ethan would not be alive today without the generosity of blood donors,” said Ethan’s mother, Jennifer McGettigan, in the press release.
The drive will be held Sunday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Giamatti Little League Complex Recreation Room, 335 Mix St., Bristol.
To make an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org and sponsor code: ETHAN, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.