The Slaney’s – Dunville NL
It’s surprising how one blood test can change your life forever. After 11 days of trying to fight a fever, one tube of blood gave us the answer.
Not the one we would have ever imagined, as our three-year-old son Kaleb was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (a blood cancer).
The night we were given this horrifying news Kaleb received his first platelet transfusion. In the days that followed, more blood tests were completed and several blood transfusions were given.
For the following month, every time Kaleb’s body seemed to be getting tired, another person’s blood showed up at his bedside and was pumped through his veins. With every drop, he got stronger and stronger.
I can’t imagine what we would have done had there not been blood available for Kaleb.
At 17, I made my first blood donation. At that point in my life I never really identified the importance of donating. I simply gave because I figured it was a genuine gesture.
However, almost 20 years later, I now personally know the significance of rolling up your sleeve and donating.
We have been blessed thus far in Kaleb’s journey in battling his cancer.
He has been feeling extremely well and his body is creating healthy blood.
However, every time a needle draws out his blood from the port in his chest, my heart stops and I hold my breath until the blood is tested and the results confirm he is still fighting strong.
At any point in this three-year roller coaster, Kaleb can become sick and need additional blood transfusions.
That 17-year-old who donates blood but has no real connection to a person who needs transfusions may be the person saving Kaleb’s life, or it could be the 35-year-old who has never donated and felt like giving back because their neighbours’ son has cancer, or the 53-year-old who has donated 70 times.
Truth is I would love to thank every person who has donated blood and helped save Kaleb’s life, but I can’t so instead, as a family, we decided that we would host a clinic in Kaleb’s honor so we can help the next family diagnosed with childhood cancer or any other disease where blood donations play such an imperative part in the recovery process.
Thank you to all those who take the time to give blood. You are my knights in shining armour who provided and continue to provide my son with strength and my family with comfort in knowing blood is available to him whenever he needs it.
Nicole Slaney of Dunville