First Responder's Son Needs Blood

Sun, 03/06/2016 - 02:51
Grayson Lautieri

Dominic Lautieri is a first responder. A Portsmouth firefighter and EMT for 15 years, he's saved many lives. And when his son Grayson needed help last spring, Dominic never expected it to be from blood donors. 

In early March of 2015, after a period of feeling run down and having a fever, Grayson, a 9-year-old boy who loves hip-hop dancing and being an awesome brother to his 5 siblings, was sent to Hasbro Children's Hospital. That same day, Dominic and his wife Courtney were told that Grayson had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. 

One of the first things they did for him at the hospital was give him blood platelets. Platelets are a component of blood most often used to treat patients with cancer. Dominic said, "It made him feel better right away, so much so that he didn't understand why he had to stay in the hospital at all." That transfusion is just the beginning of Grayson's battle, including chemotherapy and transfusions of whichever blood components he needs during the course of treatments. Those treatments are likely to last more than a year.  

The Lautieri's received an outpouring of support to help with expenses as one stays with Grayson at the hospital at all times while the other take care of the kids. Courtney is a stay-at-home mom. In addition to being a first responder, Dominic runs a contracting business to make ends meet. The family would never ask anyone for financial support, but fellow fire fighters and friends set up a Go Fund Me page anyway. Overwhelmed by the kindness of others, they wanted to do something to pay that kindness forward. So the Lautieri's reached out to the Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) to share their story and host a blood drive for the many other people like Grayson who need life-saving blood. Dominic says, "There are so many other families right here in the hospital with us who need blood, and we're so grateful to the people who give regularly. We want to be a part of making sure it is always there for others."