12/13/2011 http://northhills.patch.com/articles/west-view-firefighter-needs-blood-july-9-drive- planned
Police & Fire, Volunteers in the NewsBy Kristy Snyder Email the author July 6, 2011Email Print Comment
West View Firefighter Needs Blood; Drive Set For July 9 at Fireman's Hall
William Cummings' illness requires blood transfusions every few weeks just to keep him alive.
Related Topics: Blood Drive, Central Blood Bank, West View Fire Department, and William Cummings Whatmotivates you to give blood? Tell us in the comments.
West View firefighter William Cummings had been having health problems for several months before the doctorscould finally diagnose him. What he found out in January was grim – his stomach was lined with hyperplastic gastricpolyps, and he required a new liver.“Where these polyps grow in your stomach they bleed internally,” said his wife, Donna Cummings. “They do anendoscopy every six to eight weeks down through the mouth into his stomach [to check the polyps].”Since then, he has needed blood transfusions every few weeks just to keep him alive.“Your blood counts are supposed to be above 14,” said Donna Cummings. “We’re happy if we keep him at 10. If itgets down to 8.2 then they have to transfuse.”This year alone, Cummings has gone through eight pints of blood. It is estimated he has used about 16 to 20 pints of blood since the onset of his diagnosis. When he finally receives a new liver, he will need even more blood, about 30pints during the surgery.This drain on the supply of blood from the Central Blood Bank and the concern for the health of their friend haveprompted sister-in-law Jackie Hollenberger and co-worker Randy Schubert to organize a replenishment drive from 9a.m. to 3 p.m. July 9 at the West View Fireman’s Banquet Hall. Those interested in pre-registering can log on to theblood bank's website at www.centralbloodbank.org and use the sponsor code ZRTN0821.“The blood drive is to replenish the blood he’s already used and will be using in the course of his illness,”Hollenberger said.Cummings, 58, has been a firefigher for 40 years, but he cannot work due to his illness.“Every time there’s an alarm my heart starts beating and I can’t do anything,” he said. “I just look out the window andwatch the fire trucks go out.”He is not allowed to drive and is on disability.“You can’t do nothing; it’s boring,” he said. “The only time I get to leave the house is when I go to the hospital. [I] playit day by day.”Schubert went to school with Cummings and considers him a good friend. They are members of the same firedepartment.“It’s terrible,” said Schubert about Cummings’ illness. “Anybody that has to go through a possible liver transplant, it’skind of dramatic.”45° F HI:43 LO:33