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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

Redwood City’s Fire Department Blood Drive

Redwood City, CA - July 21, 2005 – “Not my little girl. She’s all I have. I would give anything for this to have happened to me instead of my daughter.” – Grieving mother, Christine Marelich.

Captain Ernie Gomez from the Redwood City Fire Department was shocked to learn about Brittany Marelich-Hill from an article by Nicole Neroulias, Redwood City, Staff Writer for the Inside Bay Area. He then spoke to Brittany’s mother who is asking the community for help. At 14 years of age, Brittany Marelich-Hill is facing decisions no one should ever have to face: Should she shave her head before all her hair falls out in the hope that what hair she now has might be just enough to cut and fashion into a wig? Last Sunday she decided; yes. Should she find a new home for her beloved cats because she can no longer give them the care and attention they need? Yes; Brittany wanted to make sure her cats were happy, properly cared for and had a good home even though she was sad to part with them.

Before February 4th of this year, Brittany was a typical ninth-grader at San Carlos High School. With her diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia in February, her life changed in a way that makes Brittany’s mother, Christine Marelich, wish she could take her daughter’s place.

Christine is desperate to save her daughter Brittany’s life and the only hope is through blood and bone marrow donations. Brittany is multi-racial and has a special need for a particular bone marrow match. “Every day counts!” Christine cried to the staff at the Fair Oaks Library in Redwood City as she circulated flyers to alert the public to Brittany’s desperate search for viable donors. After each long day of her search for donors, Christine returns to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital to sleep next to her daughter Christine hoping a donor will be found.

The Redwood City Fire Department is sponsoring a blood drive, in honor of Brittany Marelich-Hill, on Tuesday, August 2, 2005 from 9:00am – 2:00pm. It will be at the Bloodmobile at 1017 Middlefield Road in front of City Hall. The Stanford Blood Center is in desperate need of B-negative blood, which is needed to help keep Brittany alive. This blood type is found in only 1.5 percent of the population.

Please help to make a difference in Brittany’s life or the life of another child who needs blood and call (650) 780-7400 to schedule an appointment to donate blood.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and City government.


Captain Ernesto Gomez
Redwood City Fire Department
(650) 780-7400

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