LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4)– High school freshman Will Maniatis is battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia. His cancer fight is prompting some help from the community.
“Right now I’m just a little weak, other than that, I’m not too bad,” said Will.
He was originally diagnosed at the end of last year. Despite a bone marrow transplant from his brother, in August they learned the cancer had returned.
“After Will relapsed, he wanted some time just to do his thing, be a normal teenage kid,” said Will’s mother Claudia. “His goal was to get to homecoming, which he did.”
Along with cancer treatment and other therapies, came the need for blood transfusions.
“For people like me, we need blood a lot,” said Will.
And he is not alone in that need, so as the community reached out to the family to offer support, his mom had an idea.
“If you want to help you can go down to Children’s and donate some blood or platelets,” she said.
“Just walking through Children’s Hospital you’re reminded of the need to give back and this an easy, painless way to do it.”
Stephanie Klein came to donate blood to Children’s Hospital in Will’s honor. She knows the blood doesn’t go directly to Will, but hopes her donation sends him a message.
“Your community’s behind you and we love you and we’ve got you and we’re going to fight like you,” said Klein.
“I’m incredibly proud of him,” said Claudia. “He’s just held strong and stayed focused throughout this entire process. He has lead by example and I’m just proud of him and I love him.”
And Will is grateful for the support.
“Thank you,” he said, “We all appreciate it.”
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Centennial is offering a free pint of beer to anyone who donates at Children’s Hospital in Will’s name this week. This will culminate in a Pint-For-A-Pint celebration at Rock Bottom in Centennial on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.
Right now, Children’s Hospital Colorado has a critical need for blood platelet donations, if you would like more information on how to donate and the donation process visit www.childrenscolorado.org/giveblood.