St. John's,
Newfoundland and Labrador

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My Lifeline....

Dear Blood Donors

Being a mom was one of the most important things I wanted to be in life. I never dreamed in a million years that it would take me on the journey it has. On November 23rd, 2003 I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into my life. Arriving nearly 7 weeks early and weighing just 3 pounds. I guess she wanted to meet me as bad as I wanted to meet her. She was 3 tiny pounds of perfection. She was everything I ever dreamed of she just needed to spend some time in the NICU to grow to a healthy weight to be taken home. All that changed when she was three weeks old. The nurses said that she was very pale and not feeding like she should and that the doctor ordered blood work. The results certainly wasn't what I wanted to hear. Graces hemoglobin was at a very low level. The hemoglobin is what carries oxygen through the body. They said we need you to sign a consent to give her a blood transfusion. I was devastated! Why did my little bundle of perfection need this?? 30 mls of blood over a 4 hour period saved her life that day.

Our story doesn't end there. After many follow ups at the Janeway hospital and 5 more blood transfusions it was decided that a bone marrow biopsy was needed to determine what was going on in her body. The results weren't good. Grace was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a condition leaving the body unable to produce red blood cells. This condition is very rare with only one more case in newfoundland and about 1000 worldwide.My sweet baby was going to need someone elses blood for the rest of her life in order to live.

Fast forward nearly 13 years later and i couldn't be prouder of the amazing person Grace has turned out to be. Kind, caring, funny, loving, not to mention the most brave and courageous. She loves to sing and dance and hang out with friends.. She loves to do all the things kids her age does. Most of all she knows and understands the importance of giving blood. Grace has has 182 blood transfusions to date and continues to receive them every 21 days. She gets 3 units now. Grace will need this the rest of her life. She will solely rely on the kindness of others taking time out of their busy lives to donate blood so she can continue doing all the things she loves to do.

Most people don't think about blood, they get up in the morning and carry on with their day. They don't have to think about being so low on energy that a simple task becomes a struggle. They don't have to wonder where the next unit of blood is coming from or if there are enough people donating blood. This is the part where i say thank you to all those people that donate blood. Although a simple thank you just don't seem sufficient. you people are Graces everyday heroes. Thank you for caring. Thank you for understanding the reasons why it is so important. My daughter is with me today because of you. I bet that must feel pretty amazing when you think about it. knowing a little girls life have been saved 182 times. It's because of you she gets to have another birthday, another christmas, another voice recital, another hug, another laugh, another day!!!!! And that is pretty amazing in my eyes.

All our love

Terri-Lynn & Grace Hart