When my daughter was admitted to the hospital, they already suspected leukemia. At the time, we didn't know what form of leukemia, but they believed she had a blood cancer. We were admitted immediately to the Pediatric ICU with an appointment the following morning with the doctor to visit us. Before he arrived, a nurse told me that Allie needed blood. Her hands and feet were shutting down, and she was severely anemic. In the nurse's opinion, time was critical, and she needed a blood transfusion within the hour or we would lose her. The doctor had yet to see her.
Before even being diagnosed, we had the possibility of losing her. When blood is in short supply, it can take hours for a blood transfusion to happen. We didn't have hours. Thank goodness that there was an ample supply of blood that day. She was given a fighting chance to live that day because someone donated their blood.
The first time I saw blood go into my child, I was fairly freaked out. It scared the hell out of me. Someone else's blood was going into my baby. But the 80th time? No big deal. As leukemia is a blood cancer, it attacks the blood cells. Patients are often anemic as the rogue white blood cells (the blasts, cancer cells) kill the other good healthy cells. Red cells and platelets were pushed out.
During her five month treatment, Allie had more than 85 blood transfusions. There were times when she had them every other day. Every time she had a transfusion, I was grateful to the donor. Grateful that they rolled up their sleeve and donated to help another.
With this Blogging for Blood Cancer event, I wanted to highlight another way for someone to make a difference. There are fundraising opportunities through LLS, ways to make donations in honor/memory of someone, and ways to train to be involved as Frances is doing. I encourage you to see if one of these options are good for you. But, please consider blood donation as well. I realize that not all can do it. I can't. I blow veins every time I try. And it's disappointing. I so desperately wnat to be able to give blood. I would love to help another family the way mine was helped. So, I choose blood advocacy as a way to make a difference. I've been a speaker for Carter BloodCare to advocate blood donation.
I sincerely hope that I will never have to watch blood go into my sweet Maggie, but if there was a need, I hope the necessary blood to possibly save her life will be available to her.