Published on February 21, 2018

Meet the face of blood donations and save a life by giving blood at Essentia Health

Liam Murray was just shy of his second birthday when his mom began to notice subtle changes in his appearance and in his normally rambunctious behavior.  “He was so pale, and he started to have some bruising around his eyes,” says mom, Katie Murray. 

Katie took Liam to the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic, where he was diagnosed with B-cell Leukemia.  His treatment required seven blood transfusions in seven months.

“I had donated blood in the past a few times, prior to my son’s diagnosis,” Katie adds.  “You don’t really think about the people you’re helping and who’s getting the blood.  Seeing Liam recover makes me so appreciative.”

Now 4, Liam is in remission and will end his chemotherapy and blood transfusions by the end of the year.  Katie is looking forward to celebrating each holiday with him, and her younger son, Theo.  And because of the care she received, Katie works now as a certified nursing assistant in oncology and is studying to be a nurse.

“I was inspired by the care Liam received and I want to give back and help others,” she says.  “Often people put off donating blood because of fear of the process, but the biggest fear is the one faced by patients and their families that rely on these blood products to save lives.  If looking at Liam’s face and thinking of him, or others just like him, could give each of us courage to donate blood, the blood banks would be overflowing.”

You can help Liam, and many other patients, by donating blood from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, 407 E. Third St., Duluth.  The bloodmobile will be parked on Third Street outside the hospital lobby.

You may also sign up online at www.mbc.org/searchdrives