San Antonio father diagnosed with leukemia encourages blood donations amid shortage

Greg Martinez relies on blood transfusions to keep strong for his family

The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is pleading with community to donate blood. STBTC continues to face a serious blood shortage, and for some the donations can be life-saving.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is pleading with community to donate blood. STBTC continues to face a serious blood shortage, and for some the donations can be life-saving.

SAN ANTONIO – The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is pleading with community to donate blood. STBTC continues to face a serious blood shortage, and for some the donations can be life-saving.

Greg Martinez is a husband and a father of two. He said he has faced different health issues most of his life. He has battled both anemia and Crohn’s disease.

However, in May of this year he ended up in the hospital where he was diagnosed with leukemia. Martinez was unsure of what to expect.

“How bad is it gonna be? How bad is treatment going to be?” he said.

Things moved quickly after that. Martinez currently receives chemotherapy treatment which takes a toll on his body.

He said blood transfusions help continue his fight and remain strong for his family.

“(It helps) at least, just energy wise and just being able to get my body prepared to go through the chemotherapy,” Martinez said.

STBTC is receiving less than 400 donations a day, but officials hope the community can come out and donate. Martinez said it means everything.

“The last thing you want to hear that maybe the blood you need is not available or that they’re gonna have to find another solution,” he said.

CDC guidelines are followed when donating blood, including wearing a mask and temperature checks upon arrival.

Martinez thanks those who have continued to donate through the pandemic and, for now, he holds on to hope that he can continue to stay strong for his family.

“If I’m doing better, feeling better then they’re feeling more at ease,” he said.

City council members are also getting involved. The San Antonio District Challenge aims to see which city districts can raise the most donations.

To learn more, click here.


About the Author:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter in the weekday mornings at KSAT 12.