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Blood drive Wednesday helps 2 youngsters trying to survive
Sofia Rose Conde who was diagnosed as an infant with Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency will be the beneficiary of a blood drive Wednesday at the CK Bar and Grill in Lathrop. Both Sofia and her newborn brother Anthony who is also afflicted with the hereditary disorder will earn credits to assist with the transfusions that are necessary for the treatment PVD which leads to the breakdown of red blood cells. - photo by Photo Contributed


• WHAT: Blood Drive for Sofia Rose and Anthony Conde
• WHERE: At CK Bar and Grill – located at 14725 Harlan Road in Lathrop
• WHEN: Wednesday from 3 to 8 p.m.
• WHY: To benefit the Conde family – who have two young children affected with Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency – and the Delta Blood Bank

LATHROP – When Rachel Conde learned that her infant daughter was afflicted with a disorder that affected the survival of her red blood cells, she was crushed.

Doctors told her that young Sofia Rose was afflicted with Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency – or PVD – which causes a form of anemia that leads to the breakdown of red blood cells. She would have to receive routine blood transfusions – averaging one every three weeks – and would likely have her spleen removed if she lived to the age of five. It was not the sort of news that a new mother expected to hear.

That was three years ago.

And just when she and her husband Victor were starting to settle into the routine and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, they got more troubling news.

Their newborn son Anthony – who was welcomed into the world on June 10 – is also affected with the hereditary disorder.

But thanks to people in the community who have gone out of their way to organize blood drives for the family, the combination of what the insurance pays and the credits that they have received from Good Samaritans has virtually eliminated the out-of-pocket cost for the seemingly endless stream of procedures.

“It makes me feel really blessed to know there are people that don’t even know me or my family that are going out there and donating blood for us,” Conde said. “Some of them are first time donors. I can’t even describe the feeling. It’s just an overwhelming feeling of warmth.

“I really don’t think we could live in a better area.”

And the community is stepping up again to lend a hand.

Amita Kotecha at Lathrop’s CK Bar and Grill has helped organize a blood drive that will benefit both Sofia Rose and Anthony Conde while at the same time helping the struggling Delta Blood Bank.

The event, scheduled for Wednesday from 3 to 8 p.m., will also give regular donors a chance to make a deposit at the blood bank which Kotecha said is at a “critical” point with an extremely low number of units available on hand.

“We just felt like getting involved was the right thing to do,” Kotecha said. “They are children here in Lathrop that needed assistance, and they’re part of this community. It’s just touching that people who have never met this family are reaching out to do something to help them.

“That’s what we were hoping to see when we started to put this together.”

People looking to make a donation to the Conde family can stop by the CK Bar and Grill – located at 14725 Harlan Road – Wednesday from 3 to 8 p.m. Donations can be made either to the family or to the blood bank itself.