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Better Late Than Never

I was a student at the University of Winnipeg in 1993ish when I saw a poster for a blood donor clinic on site. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to donate before my next class and the clinic was over when my class ended. "Next time" I thought to myself. Fast forward to working long hours climbing the corporate ladder, getting married and starting a family, and somehow it was 2004 and "Next time" had just never come. I know I had time, but life got in the way and it was just never a priority to book an appointment, I never thought about it. Then my 3rd child was born. A beautiful, precious 7 pounds 11 ounces of pure love. Kaity was born with a rare and serious heart defect which she would need surgery for. Nearing the end of her first week of life, she needed a blood transfusion. Suddenly, the importance of "Next time" hit home. A couple of weeks later Kaity was life-flighted to Edmonton for heart surgery. 5 units of blood used during surgery. We then learned that Kaity also suffered from Severe Combined Immune Deficiency, which you may know as "bubble boy syndrome". Weekly infusions of a blood product called IVIG began and we were told she would require at least monthly infusions for her entire life. Next came surgery to remove part of one lung - and more blood needed. My baby girl recieved blood or blood products at least eighteen times in 101 days. Without those 18 blood donors we would not have had 101 days with our precious baby girl. I know the indescribable grief of burying my child, but I am so very grateful to the 18 strangers who gave her a fighting chance. Knowing that my donation may spare another parent from the crushing loss the death of a child brings is a wonderful feeling. I have now donated 46 times - I can't.go back in time and make "Next time" come sooner, but you can bet that now that I know what that hour of time may mean to a family praying for a miracle, next time is going to keep coming every 12 weeks.