When my husband was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia he was extremely fatigued and had small little red spots under his skin called petechiae. This was because his leukemia was preventing his bone marrow from making healthy blood cells which caused his hemoglobin (transports oxygen around the body) and platelets (assist in clotting) to become dangerously low.
Many blood cancer patients, like my husband, require many blood transfusions throughout their treatment because their cancer interferes with the production of healthy blood cells. Furthermore, chemotherapy agents used to treat these cancers temporarily impair blood cell production and suppress the immune system.
Without the the kindness of countless blood donors, my husband would not be here today. Over the last year of his treatment he has received hundreds of red blood cell and platelet transfusions. Each one allows his body to continue the fight a little big longer. I am so thankful for every person that has given of themself to give him life.
This experience has opened my eyes to the importance of blood donation. I used to be terrified of needles but now have the courage to be a regular blood and platelet donor because of my husband’s fight. Minutes of discomfort for you can mean a whole life for someone else. Be brave and become a blood donor today!