By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/20/10
An American Red Cross Blood Drive is being held on Thursday, Dec. 30 in honor of Chestnut Hill College freshman lacrosse player Shane Franzone, who has spent the past two months in Children’s Hospital while receiving treatments for a rare blood disorder.
Franzone, a Norristown High alum, was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia, a condition where bone marrow fails to produce sufficient blood cells (red and white cells as well as platelets).
The blood drive is being held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Titus Roman Catholic Church at 3006 Keenwood Road, Norristown.
Appointments for blood donors are being taken every 15 minutes. All types are accepted and donations are used to replenish the overall blood supply. To sign up, click here, or contact Susan Castor (610,631,4152).
For donor eligibility guidelines, click here or call 1 800 RED CROSS.
Franzone has received steady blood transfusions since being admitted to CHOP on Oct. 15 shortly after competing with Chestnut Hill College in the annual Nick Colleluori Classic a week earlier.
Franzone’s mother, Denice, said the diagnosis was made after Franzone sustained several bruises during the Nick Colleluori tourney. Doctors noticed his blood was not clotting and he was immediately referred to CHOP. Interestingly, The Nick Colleluori Classic was created to raise funds and awareness for blood cancer.
Doctors have been trying to jump-start his immune system with IV blood treatments. It is hoped that Franzone can come home this week while continuing his treatments.
“The doctors said they had never seen a blood count this low in a healthy man this age,” said Mrs. Franzone. “The fact he got bruised up in the HEADstrong event probably saved his life.
“We’re lucky they caught it when they did.”
Denice Franzone said her son has handled the fight with a positive attitude. She also noted that Michael Colleluori – Nick’s younger brother – came to visit.
“Being his mother, I am probably biased – but I’m amazed at how strong he is,” she said. “He has been through a lot more than people go through in a lifetime and he just turned 19.
“He has a passion for the sport of lacrosse and he got real involved in HEADstrong and selling t-shirts. When Mrs. Colleluori got up and spoke (about Nick), I went into tears.
“A week later, I was going through some of the same stuff her and her family has endured. Mike Colleluori came to visit two times and Shane was inspired by that. That has helped him to keep pushing and trying to strive to get through this.”
To learn more about Shane Franzone’s recovery, log onto caringbridge.org and use “sfranzone” to complete the website.