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Ernest Berzette Needs Your Help!



         Several months ago, longtime walking horse owner Ernest Berzette was diagnosed with leukemia. Due to the harshness of the treatment, Ernest's doctor decided it would be best for him to forego chemotherapy. Instead, Ernest has been receiving two units of blood every two weeks.

        This is where he needs your help! Ernest's blood type is the rare O negative, which is the universal donor, but he can only receive blood from another O negative donor. Birmingham, Alabama, where he resides, is currently under a shortage of O negative blood.

         The family is asking for donors with O negative blood to come forward to help Ernest receive the treatment he needs. An individual can donate one unit of blood every 56 days. Ernest needs 8-10 donors to alternate giving a unit of blood every two weeks. The procedure is safe, painless, except for a small needle prick and only takes about one hour. To donate, persons must be at least 17 years of age, weigh 110 pounds, and must not have given whole blood in the last 56 days. There is no upper age limit for blood donation.

         Persons with O negative type blood who fit the above criteria and are interested in helping Ernest with his treatment can contact Cheryl Berzette at 205-982-4955 (home) or 205-365-1609 (mobile) so that she can help set up a collection with your local chapter of the American Red Cross. She also needs to keep a log of the donations since blood must be used within 30 days. Donors would need to stagger their donations so that the blood is not wasted. Also, Cheryl will need the fax number of the location where you are donating, so Ernest's doctor can fax in the order, making sure Ernest receives your donation. You may also reach Ernie Jr. at 205-966-1762.

        Donating one unit of blood can save up to three lives. If your blood type is O negative, please consider helping Ernest maintain his treatment, and get his leukemia into remission!

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