Family Still Helping Others as 3 Year Old Battles Cancer


Published 07/28 2014 10:21AM

Updated 07/28 2014 12:37PM

Instead of focusing on their own grief, the Schmaltz family hosted a blood drive on Saturday to encourage friends and family to donate blood to help save the lives of others.

"Pay it forward is always in my head," Wyatt's dad Joe says it was devastating when his 3 year old was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Neuroblastoma. 

"More tears than I've cried in my 32 years of life, it was just the most awful thing in the world," Joe said.  Wyatt is fighting stage four cancer, and has received 7 or 8 life sustaining blood transfusions. 

Joe explains, "We felt like a great way to give back to the community.  Give back to the blood bank, and all that support would be to hold one of these to use what he's going through, to motivate people to come out and donate something like this."

And it worked, over 50 people donated to help provide blood to children and adults.  One of those donations came from Wyatt's grandfather.  "I always donate blood.  I've donated over 5 gallons.  There's a big need fori t right now, and this is in honor of Wyatt."

Julia Wieland with the American Red Cross says Saturday's event helps keep numbers up when there is such a large shortage.  "The family has just been great.  Because not only are they going through their own family, but they are already thinking of other people.  They are in the midst of this, but they are still reaching out and trying to help others."

Joe explains why they want to help others.  "Everything that everyone does for us.  Any money, any time, anything they donate us, we have every intention of paying it forward in anyway we can." 

If you would like to follow Wyatt's story, you can go to the Prayers for Wyatt Schmaltz facebook page.  Also, you can call the American Red Cross at (260) 484 - 9336 if you would like to donate blood in Wyatt's honor. 

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