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Blood drive to benefit professor's sons

March 18, 2003

By Mary Matkin

First Woodway Baptist Church is holding a special patient blood drive to benefit 2-year-old Paul and 5-month-old Whit Saxon, the sons of Dr. Terrill Saxon, associate professor and chairman of the School of Education.

Paul is diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer. When first diagnosed, he had tumors in his abdomen and chest, surrounding his heart.

Four months before Paul's diagnosis, the Saxons' then-1-day-old son, Whit, was rushed to Cook Children's hospital and diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart defect that requires open-heart surgery.

Paul is in his third of six rounds of chemotherapy and receives two to three blood transfusions after each round. Doctors feel Whit is old enough to undergo the open-heart surgery and is scheduled for the procedure in April.

Both children are in need of blood donations for a successful recovery. Paul also is in need of platelet donations. Platelets are used for cancer patients to heal from their treatment.

'We really feel blessed by the outpour[ing] of support,' Leigh Saxon, Paul and Whit's mother, said.

Carter BloodCare will be on site from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday at First Woodway taking whole blood platelet donations. Anyone wishing to donate just platelets can specify this to the technicians. This process takes approximately two hours while the blood is removed, platelets extracted, and then the blood is returned to the donor.

'People can donate platelets every five days,' Carolina Garcia, Carter BloodCare representative, said.

For every unit of blood donated by Baylor students and faculty a $10 credit will go toward the Saxons for blood.

Carter BloodCare also will be on campus April 14 through 17, or donations can be taken at the center on West Waco Drive. Those donating to the Saxon children must provide their sponsor number, SPON-038016.

Potential donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds. To register, call 857-9487 or 1-800-366-2834.