11/13: Indiana Blood Drive Supports Girl with Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome

3-year-old Ruby Ann Grimes is bubbly, happy, and loving. But each and every day, Ruby faces an ongoing battle: Opsoclonus-Myoclonus syndrome (OMS). Last January (2020), Ruby was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that forms from immature nerve cells. Eventually, this spurred the development of Opsoclonus-Myoclonus syndrome. Now, shares Wane.com, the American Red Cross (“Red Cross”) will be holding a blood drive in Fort Wayne, Indiana to help support Ruby and others like her. 

Blood Drive

Over the last two years, Ruby has undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy, required numerous blood transfusions, and had a 20-hour-long surgery to remove a tumor from her body. The Red Cross aims to now have a blood drive so that the community can support others who also need blood transfusions.

The blood drive will take place on November 13, 2021 at Sonrise Church, located at 10125 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46804. Altogether, the drive begins at 8am and lasts for approximately 6 hours. Blood donors can have any blood type. To donate blood, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old, or 16 years old with parental consent
  • Weight 110 lbs. or more
  • Be in fairly good health
  • Not have gotten a tattoo within the last 6 months 

If you would like to donate blood within this blood drive, you may register using this link. Please use sponsor code “rubyg” when registering. 

Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS)

A tumor, which prompts the immune system to attack the nervous system, is the most common cause of Opsoclonus-Myoclonus syndrome (OMS), a rare neurological disorder. Other causes include viral infections. Also sometimes known as opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia syndrome (OMAS), this autoimmune condition causes neuroinflammation. With a sudden, and often severe, onset, the condition causes a wide variety of symptoms. These include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Changes in behavior, such as irritability, rage, or sudden crying
  • Involuntary, repeated, and rapid eye movements (opsoclonus)
  • Leg and arm spasms
  • Speech disturbances, such as slurring or loss of language
  • Unsteady gait
  • Tremors
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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