BloodSource Honors NorthBay Drives

NorthBay Healthcare’s successful series of blood drives have not only produced hundreds of units of blood for those in need, but have now been honored with a pair of awards and a photo on the cover of the summer issue of Bloodsource’s On Saving Lives Magazine. bs2 


The cover photo features NorthBay’s “Kawasaki Moms,” their children and blood drive coordinator Katie Lydon, director of Women’s and Children’s Services at NorthBay Healthcare. All have served as champions of NorthBay blood drives, sharing their stories to encourage NorthBay employees and the community at large to donate.


It’s a personal story for the Kawasaki Moms, three NorthBay Healthcare employees whose children all suffered, but eventually recovered, from Kawasaki disease, a rare affliction that causes inflammation of blood vessels, fever, rash, swelling, irritation and inflammation of the mouth, lips and throat. Complications include coronary artery dilations and aneurysms. 


Phlebotomists Dana Aleman and Leticia DeGracia and Elizabeth Gladney, R.N., have shared their stories with readers of FYI, Wellspring, The Reporter, the Daily Republic and viewers of local news television channels and continue to spread the word to further educate the community about the illness. 


If it weren’t for a special treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin, they children wouldn’t have survived, the moms explain. One treatment is produced from 1,000 units of blood, thus inspiring the moms — whose children combined needed 5,000 units of blood — to lead the charge for donations.


“Donating blood is truly saving lives. My daughter Jacqueline is here today because of donations others made,” says Leticia. “I want to do my part to make sure it’s there if and when others need it.”


The magazine saluted NorthBay’s collective effort with the “Blood Drive of the Year” award, and also honored Director of Public Relations Diane Barney with the Chairperson of the year honor.


“NorthBay’s success is due to a dedicated team effort,” says Diane. “Katie Lydon and Rowena Vince-Cruz really handled the co-chair duties of dealing with logistics, and we all worked to publicize the events and get employees, friends and families signed up to donate.”


According to Vicki Wolfe, communications manager for Bloodsource, the magazine will revisit the Kawasaki Moms for a future issue on Kawasaki disease and the use of plasma to manufacture life-saving treatments, such as the ones the children needed.