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Family recovers by giving back

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The Preston Family is the picture of good health, but four years ago when Chris was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, his future was uncertain. He had Burkitts Lymphoma, an aggressive type of cancer which infected his entire body and got into his blood stream. He endured seven rounds of intense chemotherapy and needed a number of blood transfusions. He says the donated blood saved his life. "Without those blood products I would have had to stop treatment, and my chances of survival would have been slimmer, so it had a direct impact on my treatment and ultimately my life so I owe a lot to the Red Cross." Preston truly believes that if he didn't receive help from The American Red Cross and the donors that keep the organization going, he wouldn't be alive to share his story. One person who does keep the organization going is Chris's wife Nancy. To cope with her husband's struggle, Nancy began to donate blood as much as she could. "I hadn't given blood since high school and I just started thinking about how important it was for him to give blood and I felt like I needed to give back and make up for it, and help somebody else." She now donates blood to the Red Cross every three months, but according to The Red Cross, she's in the minority. Only five percent of the population actually donates on a regular basis and with fewer donations coming in over the holidays, the Prestons only hope that their story will encourage others to give. "The holidays is a good reminder of survival and life in general, and how we need to take that and appreciate it." With only a little effort and no money needed, the Preston's believe giving the gift of life could be the best gift ever received.

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