We are just one week away from the ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive. You can register now to give the gift of life.
An Orland Park woman who survived lymphoma says its a gift she will be forever grateful for.
"I went from being diagnosed on a Wednesday to having a bone marrow biopsy and hospitalized on a Thursday to chemo on a Friday," Amy Belluomini said. "So everything was happening at rapid speed."
Life changed in an instant for Belluomini when she was diagnosed with a very rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at 30 years old. With her family history of breast cancer, a routine mammogram led to the discovery in 2018.
"It was hard to grasp what was happening, you know, not really experiencing any symptoms," Belluomini said. "So it was a tough time but, you know, you have to live moment by moment almost and day by day, when you're in that situation."
It took more than 40 blood transfusions, two years of chemo and eventually a stem cell transplant from her brother. It was a long road to remission with the help of many along the way.
Belluomini said she is grateful to the Red Cross and so many donors for getting her to where she is today.
"I'm just sitting here, lucky to be feeling good and healthy and smiling today that you know because of all these gifts that I've received from other people," she said. "You know, and I - just because of them and their mission - I'm, you know, I'm able to be here and be well to today...I strongly encourage everyone who can do it because it's going to impact someone's life, or more than one life."
ABC 7 Chicago is partnering with the American Red Cross for the 7th annual ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.