News you can use

Ross family organizes eight TroyStrong Red Cross blood drives

Drives set across Montana in June including in Havre to pay it forward

Press release

GREAT FALLS - These days, Troy Ross is more focused on hitting a curve ball than his next doctor's appointment.

"One year in remission has never felt so good," Troy's dad Wes Ross said.

Six years ago, Troy Ross was in a hospital bed in Seattle battling for his life. Today, the Great Falls 8-year-old is back to being a kid again - hitting home runs, scoring touchdowns and camping with his family.

Diagnosed with a rare immune disease, Troy was airlifted to the Seattle Children's Hospital in 2017. Over the course of the next month, three-quarters of his blood supply had to be replaced - blood available because of the generosity of blood donors.

To say thanks and pay it forward for other families going through similar struggles, Troy's family is helping organize eight Red Cross blood drives across Montana this summer. This marks the sixth consecutive year the Ross family has helped coordinate drives.

The schedule includes a blood drive in Havre Wednesday, June 21, from noon to 5 p.m. in St. Jude Parish Center, 440 Seventh Ave.

Wes Ross, who has coached football at Cascade, Great Falls High and Great Falls Central Catholic, said their family has seen an outpouring of support from all corners of the state, especially from the Montana football community.

"I'm just honored and blessed that a little boy can inspire so much good for this world," he said. "The support we receive is so humbling and just truly a testimony of what good things can happen when good people focus on the positive and helping the next person in need."

The other TroyStrong blood drives in June are:

• June 8 - Bozeman, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Montana State University SUB Building

• June 20 - Bozeman, 12:30-6 p.m., Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 221 E. Oak St.

• June 21 - Helena, noon to 6 p.m., Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 3150 N. Montana, Suite B

• June 22 - Missoula, noon to 6 p.m., Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 2401 N. Reserve St., Suite 6

• June 22 - Great Falls, noon to 6:30 p.m., Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 1300 28th St. S.

• June 27 - Dillon, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., University of Montana-Western Bulldog Athletic and Recreation Center, 710 S. Atlantic St.

• June 27 - Kalispell, noon to 6 p.m., Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 126 N. Meridian Road

People can schedule an appointment to donate at one of these drives by visiting and entering the sponsor code TroyStrong or call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767). A blood donation takes less than an hour, and a single donation can save more than one life.

Troy will celebrate his ninth birthday in June and is looking forward to a summer full of football camps and fun with his family. Wes Ross said they would have never made it to this point without lifesaving blood being available when Troy desperately needed it.

"I wish I could go back in time and personally meet those people who saved my son's life," Wes said.

"I've said countless times this is a total miracle. Without that blood being available he wouldn't be here today."

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, people can visit or .


Reader Comments(0)