Stacie Buechel was recently diagnosed with bone cancer and needs blood transfusions as part of her treatment, but her situation is complicated because she has a rare blood type. We all know that blood types are either positive or negative, but did you know there are more than 100 proteins or antigens in our blood?
Stacie is missing a protein called Kpb so she can ONLY receive blood from donors who are A+, O+, and O-, who are ALSO Kpb negative. Less than 1% of the population are Kpb negative which is why we are seeking your help to find a precise match for her blood type. Through our innovative matching system, we can provide her doctors with the most compatible blood in our inventory.
Earlier this month, the Buechels posted an update on a blog they created to keep family and friends informed of her condition.
“The tough part is that I still have not been able to have chemo or immunotherapy because of my anemia,” she wrote. “So, my scans this past week showed some really disturbing growth in my body. I can’t list all the sadness, it has really spread, and the cancer caused another fracture in my T9 of my back. The cancer is growing out towards my spinal cord."
“None of this has been good news. All we can do is pray at this point I get some blood so that I can change my chemo to an oral chemo and take Keytruda,” she wrote, referencing a humanized antibody used in cancer immunotherapy. “It has been a really hard week on me and my family. Without, blood I am going to really struggle to beat this cancer.”
Without infusions of about a pint of the rare blood per week, it will be impossible for Stacie to receive the treatment she needs. Updates on her fight can be found here.
How do you know if you are a match? Donate blood. The lab will do the rest. Our hope is that by inspiring our community to answer the call for patients like Stacie, we will find rare blood type matches for Stacie, and others like her, to receive the blood they need to continue fighting.
What can you do to help? Schedule an appointment to donate blood at ANY blood drive or one of 8 locations throughout San Diego County and mention code ESSB at registration. Every blood donation gives Stacie another chance at a match.
Update July 15, 2022
It’s with great sadness that we have learned of Stacie Buechel’s passing. You may remember that San Diego Blood Bank issued a call for new donors to donate blood in honor of Stacie during her battle against bone cancer. During her treatment she learned that she had a very rare blood type and was missing an important antigen that almost all people have called kpb. Due to her kpb-negative (kpb-) status, San Diego Blood Bank, the American Red Cross and the American Rare Donor Program searched to locate blood donors with the same missing antigen so she could continue treatment.
The San Diego community showed up in droves to support Stacie and her family. More than 1,350 people donated to see if they could help Stacie and patients like her battling cancers. We encourage the community to continue to donate in her memory using code: ESSB at registration. Her search for a match inspired neighbors, friends and strangers to give blood which then enabled up to 4,000 lives to be saved. Rest in peace, Stacie.