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Thanks to you...I have a family.

My daughter Lily was born with a rare blood disorder called Hereditary Spherocytosis.

My husband Troy has the same disorder, and was treated for it as a child. When a person has HS, their red blood cells are essentially shaped differently from normal red blood cells. This makes it difficult for them to pass through the blood vessels in the spleen, so the spleen destroys the hemoglobin, often faster than the body can produce it. This results in anemia, which is occasionally so severe, a blood transfusion is required.

When Troy was a child, he was receiving transfusions every 6 weeks from the age of 4 months until he was 4 years old, at which time his spleen was removed. He has been healthy ever since. Lily has essentially inherited the same severity of the disorder, and has had 6 transfusions since she was born last June. The doctors are talking about removing her spleen when she's 2, and with any luck, she'll be fine - just like her daddy.

Blood donations saved my husband's life. Blood donations are currently saving our daughter's life. It is very hard for me to think that without the generosity of strangers, our daughter could die. Yes, the treatment for HS is relatively simple, not very invasive, and eventually Lily will likely be fine. We need to get her to 'eventually' first, and we can only do that if people make the selfless decision to become regular donors.

By giving of yourself so selflessly and generously, you have saved someone’s life. It may even be your blood that has helped save my husband or my daughter. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without them in it, and thanks to people like you, I don’t have to. By giving blood, you have given me my family.

If I were to thank you a million times, it would not be enough to express how truly grateful I am. You are a hero to me, my family, and thousands more. Thank you.