Love County family asks community for blood donations to help woman battling cancer
A Love County family is reaching out to the community to ask for blood donations for a family member diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer.
Pam Blackburn said it was a shock to the family when her sister, Evelyn Cohoon, was diagnosed earlier this year. “She’s always been a real strong person and for this to hit her and hit her so quickly and so hard, it’s just been really hard for us to come to terms with it,” Blackburn said.
Blackburn’s daughter, Kara Burden, said her aunt had always been very healthy and the onset of the disease was very sudden. Cohoon just recently retired from the Marietta Fire Department after serving alongside her husband, Mike, for a combined 58 years.
According to the American Cancer Society, mesothelioma is a tumor of the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs. The disease usually affects the lungs.
Blackburn said the treatment required for her sister has caused her body to slow down production of her blood, requiring several blood transfusions. “She is low on blood units so they’ve had to give her three transfusions already,” Blackburn said. “We suspect she’s going to have to have some more.”
To help out with the cost and ensure there is blood available, the family is asking the community to donate blood in Evelyn Cohoon’s name. A patient account has been set up for her with the Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas Blood Institutes.
Anyone can donate at any of the blood institute locations or drives, including the Ardmore location. Individuals will need to let the staff know to credit their donation to Evelyn Cohoon during the screening process.
Blackburn said Cohoon’s blood type is O+, but all types of blood and donations are welcome.
“Any type of donation can be credited to her and they will pull the O+ she needs and use it,” Cohoon said. “You do not have to be her blood type and you can do any type of donation — it can be whole blood, platelets.”
The Love County Health Center will also be holding a mobile blood drive from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 24, where individuals can donate in Cohoon’s name. Individuals are encouraged to make appointments before donating in order to maintain social distancing, but walk-ins will be accepted.
“They already had it set up, but we’re just asking people to donate in her name,” Blackburn said. “They can donate anywhere, it doesn’t have to be the one in Love County — it can be in Carter County.”
Blackburn and Burden said the family is very appreciative of the community’s donations and prayers, and even if they don’t donate in her name, donations of blood are still needed year-round.
“If it’s not her blood type, it’s going to help somebody else also. Especially right now with the pandemic, it’s just one little thing that the community can do to show their love, coming together and being a family,” Burden said. “We thank the community for all of their prayers and thoughts for Mike and Evelyn and the family, and friends.”
To make a donation appointment with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, call (877) 340-8777 or visit www.obi.org.