It was December 2014, Christmas Eve. While many were anticipating a joyous holiday, Cy Petrosino, just seven-years-old, sat in the hospital with his mom, Kathleen Petrosino, as he received a much needed blood transfusion. This was only one of several throughout 2014. Cy received a total of 15 red blood cell and six platelet transfusions.
Earlier in 2014, Cy, fondly called Super Cy from the time he was a baby, complained about head pain. He was also falling asleep suddenly, which was unusual for this active kindergartener. After two misdiagnoses, a CAT scan revealed that Cy had cancerous tumors throughout his brain and spine.
Cy’s doctor called Kathleen with the results less than an hour after the CAT scan was performed. He told her to pack a bag for him and take him directly to the hospital. On May 8, 2014, Cy underwent eight hours of surgery to remove the cancerous growths.
Unfortunately, after Cy’s surgery, within three weeks of the initial diagnosis, his symptoms returned. The tumors had regrown completely. About three weeks into Cy’s chemo and radiation treatments, he began needing blood transfusions. His hemoglobin and white cell counts were dangerously low, and eventually Cy needed blood transfusions between each chemo cycle to keep his blood cell counts up. In November 2014, Cy hit his lowest point and needed five blood transfusions within 72 hours. Without blood donors, children like Cy would be in dire need.
The following month Cy was back in the hospital for a Christmas Eve blood transfusion. It’s not a typical Christmas gift, but one Kathleen was grateful that Cy received. “It just makes such a difference; within two hours, he’s completely bounced back after he gets transfusions.”
There is no replacement or substitute for human blood, and Kathleen is thankful to everyone who takes the time to donate blood. “No kid could make it, or survive without the blood,” she said.
A major part of Cy’s journey was complete when in March 2016, he received a clear scan. There are still hurdles remaining. Cy is in the midst of intense physical and occupational therapy for the side effects of surgery, chemo and radiation. But Super Cy is improving, and his grateful mom wants people to know that children with cancer wouldn’t be able to fight it without the generosity of blood donors.
PREPARE FOR YOUR DONATION • EAT WELL • STAY HYDRATED • BRING ID