Zach Stumpf is a normal 13 year old teenager that enjoys hanging with friends and being with his family. Unfortunately, Zach doesn’t always feel well enough to participate the way he would like. At age 12, Zach fell ill with what his parents thought was just a virus. A trip to the doctor turned into a trip to Children’s Hospital. It was then that Zach and his parents learned that he had Pre B-cell ALL (Pre B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Pre B-cell ALL is a form of leukemia that is classified by an overproduction of cancerous, immature white blood cells. This overproduction inhibits the production of normal cells.

Zach has endured chemotherapy, radiation, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions and countless stays in the hospital. Physical Therapy was also made part of his treatment. Zach began therapy at Alton Physical Therapy almost a year ago. When he first began therapy, walking was a difficult task. In less than one year, he has made great improvement. Zach walks independently, is riding his bike again, and is out shooting hoops.

The time spent at Alton Physical Therapy not only helped to rehabilitate Zach, but he gained a new group of friends. The friendships between Zach, his mom Jenie, and all of the staff at APT sparked the idea of hosting a blood drive in honor of Zach.“Zach has had more blood transfusions then I can count and each transfusion consists of two units.” says Zach’s mom Jenie Stumpf. This information kicked the blood drive plan into gear.“Many of our patients have been through quite a lot even before they make it through our doors.  Every patient has a story and the reality is that you or I could be that patient at any time.  If we can offer a kind act or encouraging words to help our patients along, it is worth it in the end.  My mother was a recipient of over 12 units of blood this past year.  It’s humbling to know that others care for us.  APT has that caring family atmosphere, and we hope our patients can feel this when they come to our clinic” says Zach’s Physical Therapist Jenny Gargac. 

Awareness of the increase need of blood donations during the winter months inspired this event. Alton Physical Therapy will be hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, December 17th from 2p.m.-6p.m. at 1719 Clawson Street in Alton in honor of Zach.  APT is hoping to make a great success of the blood drive. If anyone is looking for a way to help others, consider giving the donation of blood.

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