BILLINGS- — Troy Ross, a Great Falls seven-year-old diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease in 2017, is doing better, so now his TroyStrong motto is headlining American Red Cross blood drives across Montana.
The blood donated at these drives is not going directly to Troy, but rather, “the next person who needs it,” according to Troy’s father, Wes Ross. The TroyStrong name is being used because it has gained popularity around the state and the Ross family has helped organize these drives.
“We know Troy isn’t the only one who needed blood and we know he won’t be the last either so we wanted to put our foot forward on top of full-time jobs, coaching, raising children, we wanted to give back and not just take,” says Ross.
The Billings blood drive was held on Wednesday, June 23 and Tom Hensley, a donor recruiter with American Red Cross says it was a success.
“Everybody is always in need. You never know when it could be you some time, so it’s always good to donate when you can,” says Alicia Minow, a blood donor at the Billings blood drive.
Throughout Troy’s life, he has needed over 90 blood transfusions, which is why the Ross family says they think blood drives are so important.
Troy is doing better. Doctors hope that by 2022 the treatments he once needed regularly, will no longer be needed. Troy’s condition, pulmonary capillaritis, is so rare that, according to his father, there are only eight people in the country who have been diagnosed with it and are still alive.