May 05, 2014
"It means a lot to know that Unyts helps in providing the blood that Naliah and other children need to keep them healthy..."
Naliah Codjovi is a typical outgoing and fun-loving 7-year-old, yet she’s dealing with a very serious illness.
Naliah suffers from sickle cell disease, a blood disorder characterized by abnormally shaped red blood cells that obstruct the cells’ ability to carry oxygenated blood throughout the body. The cells are sticky and when clumped together can block blood flow leading to “pain crisis”, or painful swelling of the chest, arms and legs. In serious cases, the blocked blood flow can lead to stroke. Therefore, Naliah must receive regular blood transfusions at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. As the healthy blood begins to circulate, Naliah’s pain crisis decreases, as does her risk of stroke.
‘It means a lot to know that Unyts helps in providing the blood that Naliah and other children need to keep them healthy and make them feel better,” said Tarsha Graham, Naliah’s mom. “It benefits not only children with chronic illnesses, but also children and adults who find themselves in unexpected need.” “I urge others to donate because my daughter and many other children benefit a whole lot from this precious gift given by others,” said Tarsha.
Show your support for Naliah and all other patients in need of blood throughout Western New York by making an appointment for May 19 at Unyts' blood drive at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo from 7 am to 2 pm.
Headquartered in downtown Buffalo and established in 1981.
Unyts is among the leading procurement organizations in the United States, and is one of the only eight centers nationwide to house organ, tissue and eye procurement in one location. With the addition of Community Blood Service, Unyts has become the first organization of its kind nationwide. Unyts operates as a non-profit serving the eight counties of Western New York and works to assist donor families, coordinate the donation process and increase knowledge and awareness within the community regarding transplantation.
Unyts routinely has helped to secure higher rates of donation in Western New York than the national average. When approached following the death of a loved-one for organ donation, Western New York families are very generous. In 2014 the Unyts conversion rate was 81.5%– the national average was 63.2%. Due to these numbers, Unyts is ranked as one of the top procurement organizations nationwide. As recently as 1997, Unyts had just 200 donors; in 2014 the organization surpassed 1,200.
The organization’s network and success have gone hand-in-hand, and as a result, Unyts has been able to spread the message that transplantation is vital – and transplantation saves lives. Unyts is currently headed by President & CEO Mark Simon, and Chair of the Board of Directors David Carlson.
*As of January 1, 2012, Unyts operates under, d/b/a Unyts, WNY’s only Organ, Eye, Tissue and Community Blood Center. We are no longer Upstate NY Transplant Services.
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