When Stacie Reynolds gave birth to her fifth child, Camille, she and her husband, Lonnie, were thrilled with their bundle of joy. But within a few short months, it became clear something was wrong with Camille’s health.
In July, the seven-month-old was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia M6. The treatment for the disease requires several weekly blood transfusions, chemotherapy and, in Camille’s case, a bone marrow transplant.
Lonnie’s employer, Durr Heavy Construction, LLC
, a member of Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Bayou
and New Orleans chapters, took swift action. The company organized a blood drive for Camille on Aug. 7, with employees spreading the word and encouraging other local ABC members and vendors to get involved.
“We asked the family what we could do to help because we’re a family-oriented organization,” says Kristen Nicholson, director of marketing for Durr Heavy Construction. “And they said they needed blood.”
Donors can help alleviate the cost of blood transfusions by donating in someone’s name. For every pint collected, Camille will receive a pint of blood free of charge.
The turnout exceeded Durr Heavy Construction’s expectations. At the end of the day, 63 people attempted to donate, and 54 pints of blood were collected. Additionally, 11 people donated at another area blood bank in Camille’s name to bring the total pints collected to 65.
“We contacted as many employees as we could—vendors, clients and fellow ABC members,” Nicholson says. “The response was overwhelming to the point where the blood bank decided to send a second bus with a second team to help with the number of people.”
Additionally, St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church in Metairie, La., sold “Team Camille” T-shirts and bracelets to raise funds to cover the medical expenses.
Despite all she has gone through, Camille remains a remarkably happy baby. Although she has progressed enough to leave the hospital to go home for a weekend, she still needs a bone marrow transplant and faces a long road ahead.
Durr Heavy Construction will be there to fight right alongside the family, helping in any way it can.
“This was the first of many blood drives we have planned for the future,” Nicholson says.
In addition to Durr Heavy Construction, ABC members involved in the initiative include F.H. Myers Construction Corporation
, Hanrahan, La.; and New Orleans-based Landis Construction, LLC
; Walton Construction, LLC
; and Gibbs Construction, LLC
For updated information on the Reynolds family and how to contribute to Camille’s recovery, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/babycamille