Young leukemia patient asks for blood donations

STAMFORD - While a 17-year-old leukemia patient from Stamford is awaiting a bone marrow transplant, he is asking people to donate blood to help him defeat the illness for the second time.

Peter Arahovitis says he's been trying to live a normal life since his Hodgkin's Lymphoma went into remission about three years ago. But after a visit to his doctor this past summer, something was not right.

"I realized when she came in she was very shaken, almost to tears," he says. "So I figured something was up."

Arahovits was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He is now undergoing aggressive chemotherapy, which has been weakening his body. He says a blood transfusion after a round of chemo makes him feel like his old self again.

"You're left with nothing, and the blood gives you much more," he says.

Arahovitis is expected to receive bone marrow surgery later this month. In the meantime, the Stamford-Darien chapter of the Red Cross will hold a blood drive for him Sunday, inviting donors with O-type blood to roll up their sleeves to help save a life.

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