Debbie
Carleton Place,
Ontario
Recipient
Blood

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Heartfelt gratitude

Just over 10 years ago I was feeling very weak, shaky and tired. I started getting terrible headaches that would not go away even with medication and I had very little energy. I found many excuses to ignore my symptoms until I couldn’t. On Boxing Day I finally visited the ER and had my first transfusions two days apart as my hemoglobin had dropped to less then half of what is considered normal for a woman (I was a healthy 36 yr old). After several tests, regular transfusions (my body was not producing any or enough red blood cells), medications and hospitalizations when my neutrophils also bottomed out (part of your white cells), a drug was found to help. Unfortunately no diagnosis has been made as it is so rare, but we know my own immune system is destroying/preventing the production of red blood cells and now platelets, while my neutrophils remain chronically abnormal. I have had several set backs over the years, unpleasant side effects from the drugs and finally a relapse that has lasted now, three years with no other treatment working. I continue to require transfusions regularly ( two units every two weeks), and soon may need platelets if they continue to decline. I will soon be receiving treatment called ATG but because of Covid was postponed. I have not found adequate words to truly express my deepest gratitude to donors for there is absolutely none that exist to reflect the feeling of having your life saved over and over twice a month by complete selfless acts of strangers. I am so grateful to donors and would love to find a way to truly let them know how much it means, and to those that could be donating but don’t think about this grave need/deed, because donating costs nothing but time. When I am asked by friends and family what they can do to help me, I am eager to say “give blood, please” and am so thankful to all that do because of my story, there can be no greater satisfaction than saving a life. Donors, you are are true heroes for giving this gift!!