Blood drive for Toronto child with leukemia set

TORONTO -The city school district will be hosting a blood drive from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 30 at Karaffa Elementary School to help one of their own recently diagnosed with leukemia.

The drive, for the Central Blood Bank, is one way the district is helping Noah Long, a 7-year-old second-grader recently diagnosed with the disease. The district’s effort also is for one its own employees – Noah is the son of Katie and David Long, and Katie is the district nurse, according to Maureen Taggart, Toronto High School principal and district communications coordinator.

“Katie noticed her son’s heartbeat was a little quicker than it should be,” Taggart said, so she took her son in for tests.

“She found out within 48 hours Noah had Acute Myeloid Leukemia,” Taggart continued. “He was taken to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. He’s currently undergoing a very aggressive round of chemotherapy, and he also will be getting blood transfusions.”

Scott Bowling, principal of Karaffa Elementary School, said Noah’s condition currently is stable, and the blood drive is a way for the community to help Noah.

“His blood work was much better (after chemotherapy),” said Bowling. “He’s going to need a bone marrow transplant.”

“They are hoping his 3-year-old sister will be a (bone marrow) match, but they don’t yet know for sure,” Taggart added.

The Central Blood Bank is a nonprofit organization spupplying blood products and transfusion-related services to about 40 hospitals in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, including Children’s Hospital, according to literature from the organization.

The drive will be held in the school gym, and those wishing to donate – the drive is open to the public – should eat well, stay hydrated and need to bring a picture ID, according to Taggart. Those wishing to donate must be at least 17 years old or have signed parental consent to donate if younger.

Meanwhile, Noah will be undergoing treatments, she added.

“They are anticipating Noah will be receiving treatments through the end of April,” Taggart said. “The family will be staying at the Ronald McDonald house across from the hospital. People can make appointments (to donate).”

Those wishing to make an appointment to donate may do so by going to and using the sponsor code ZRTN1042 or by calling Jackie Myers at (740) 537-9185.