The American Red Cross is partnering with the local Super Sam Foundation for the eighth consecutive year to host a blood drive in Sam Santhuff's memory to help save lives and promote awareness of childhood cancer.
The blood drive is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, and Thursday, July 22, from noon to 6 p.m. at Fulton High School (1 Hornet Dr.). Those who attempt to donate will receive a Super Sam T-shirt or a special-edition St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt, a $10 Amazon.com gift card code, and will be registered to win gas for a year ($5,000 value).
Santhuff was only 5 years old when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. His treatment included numerous surgeries, chemotherapy, blood transfusions and radiation treatments.
Santhuff also had to live apart from his family for a month to receive specialized radiation and later spent time apart for 100 days in isolation for a bone marrow transplant. He died on Sept. 19, 2014.
More than 600 blood donations have been collected through the Super Sam Foundation drive, and more than 150 are expected this year.
Santhuff left behind an inspiring legacy of faith, bravery and compassion for others, specifically "All the Kids" fighting childhood cancer. As his family shared their experience throughout Santhuff's treatment, thousands of people were touched by the little boy known as "Super Sam."
In 2015, his parents — Matt and Cassie Santhuff — founded the Super Sam Foundation, a non-profit organization to keep their son's memory alive while promoting awareness, advocacy, research and support for the fight against childhood cancer.
"Sam wanted nothing more than to help 'All the Kids,' so this drive is for him and to honor his legacy in the most perfect way," Cassie Santhuff said in a news release promoting the blood drives. "We prayed before every transfusion, thanking the selfless donors who gave, so that he could live. Blood donations gave Sam's twin sister her playmate and best friend back, with a new-found energy.
"We hope that our community will come out, once again, and donate for 'All the Kids' we remember such as Gabriel, Addison, Kyleigh, Ashely, Zac, Wyatt, Parker, Nat, Ethan and so many more. Please be that selfless gift for the next child."
To schedule an appointment for the July 21 or July 22 blood drive, download the Red Cross Blood Donor app or visit redcrossblood.org. The sponsor code is: supersam.