The community of West may be known for its Czech culture, but thanks to the local Kiwanis Club and a little girl named Feryn; this tight-knit community may now be known for the long lines at its blood drives.
“That’s a good problem to have,” says Carter BloodCare field recruiter Dawn Radke. It’s also evidence that the entire West community is behind 8-year-old cancer warrior Feryn Schulte. Feryn, who lives in West with her family, is being treated at Cook Children’s Medical Center for a rare type of childhood cancer. According to her doctors, the cancer is treatable, but it’s going to be a tough road. In fact, just two days after the Sept 1st blood drive brought in more than 100 units of blood, Feryn required a blood transfusion. It most likely won’t be her last. The reason to give blood couldn’t be clearer.
Every 60 days, the West Kiwanis Club hosts a blood drive. Donald Cernosek is the coordinator and often the reason their drives do so well. But the drive held for Feryn was one for the books. Recruiter Radke – who’s used to this sort of thing – was amazed at the outpouring of support. “From the time the drive started, we were slammed,” she says. “The lines were so long; some waited up to two hours to give. But no one complained. They were there for Feryn.”
Thank you West Kiwanis, specifically Mr. Cernosek, for your support and hard work, and thank you to the town of West for showing us what a real community looks like. And Feryn, thank you for your courage that inspires all of us to give more.