Central Jersey Blood Center Saves Lives – A Local Mom Can Testify to That!

Posted on August 21, 2018 By

The mission of The Central Jersey Blood Center (CJBC) is to save lives by providing safe, high quality blood products and services to patients in need. This mother of two, who recently celebrated her 50th birthday, thanks the many, many donors who saved her life.  In February of last year, she was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia), a type of cancer that starts in the blood forming cells of the bone marrow.

Evelyn Suarez, Tinton Falls, received more than 80 red cell transfusions and more than 70 units of platelets. She was in the hospital for two months, receiving these blood and platelet products at least two to three times a day. Then it was determined that she needed a bone marrow transplant.

Suarez said, “I knew when I needed these products because I started to feel sleepy and the uncontrollable bleeding started again. I needed the platelets more so than ever because it helped my blood to clot. Before receiving these products, I could barely make it out of the bed. It took a toll on me physically and emotionally. After receiving the transfusion almost instantly I could feel the difference in energy in my body.”

It was Suarez’s older sister Ramona who was able to provide the bone marrow transplant that ultimately saved Suarez’s life. Ramona’s visit to the United States from Puerto Rico turned into months instead of the one week she had planned.

It was the continuous blood and platelet transfusions that kept Suarez fighting during two rounds of chemo, one for six days in row and then a second round in preparation for her bone marrow transplant. This November, Suarez’s doctors declared her cancer free.

On the eve of her 50th birthday at an Apheresis Recognition Dinner, Suarez said, “As a mother of two, there are no words to best describe how grateful I am being able to celebrate another day. It’s not just a regular day; it’s a day in a room with a group of people who bless others everyday (with their donations of blood) who are in the situation that I was once in. For that I would like to give a huge thank you. The words ‘thank you’ can’t even express how blessed I am. I wake up every morning thanking God for getting me through this journey; and without the help of all you beautiful donors, I couldn’t have done it without you.”

CJBC is a community-based, nonprofit blood collection and distribution organization that has been serving New Jersey residents for more than 50 years. CJBC is in desperate need of blood, facing a shortage of more than 1000 units of platelets and red blood cells. Please seriously consider making a blood donation today!

Blood donations can be made at one of three donor centers: Howell, Toms River, and Shrewsbury. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-71-BLOOD (888-712-5663). For more information, visit www.cjbcblood.org or contact Alyssa Drown at 518-569-1841.

Central Jersey Blood Center can also work with any group or organization interested in a blood drive at their location and can guarantee a registration of 25 donors. Contact Karen Moore at (732)842-5750 Ext. 243 or kmoore@cjbcblood.org for details.

Donor Centers:

Shrewsbury (732- 842-5750) Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, Noon to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Howell 4068 Route 9 South, Howell Plaza Shopping Center (732 901-0720) Monday and Wednesday, Noon to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and Sundays.
Toms River: 1256 Indian Head Road & Route 9 South, Indian Head Shopping Plaza (Next to Pathmark), (732-349-3110) Monday, Noon to 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.