Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A gift of LOVE and LIFE...

This is a picture of Cami getting blood from someone.  We will never know who donated this blood, but each time she gets a transfusion I wonder who it was from and I am so grateful that they took the time and effort to give of this precious gift.  
The gift of love and life. 
Want to learn how YOU can give a gift like this one?  Read on...

This Christmas, here's two relatively simple, FREE gifts you can give that will GREATLY impact the lives of many cancer patients:

1. Get registered in the bone marrow donor registry: There are many people who need a life-saving bone marrow transplant, but who don't have a match. Last month, we heard about this sad story - an 11 year old girl with AML (leukemia), who passed away. She needed a bone marrow transplant and a perfect match couldn't be found. YOU could be someone's match. It takes about five minutes to get signed up.  Check out our friend Rachel's story.  She was able to find a donor and get a transplant.  She is doing GREAT thanks to a stranger who wanted to help in every way possible.  What a gift!!!  
Get registered and YOU could give someone hope!

2. Donate blood.  Go here to find your local Red Cross. You can donate blood or platelets at American Red Cross.  You can also donate at ARUP where Primary Children's gets their donations.
A single platelet donation can provide enough platelets for a full therapeutic dose for a patient in need. In fact, some platelet donations yield enough platelets for two or three therapeutic doses. By contrast, it takes about five whole blood donations to produce a single therapeutic dose. Many patients who need platelets are undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant and have weakened immune systems. A platelet dose from a single donor reduces the patient’s exposure to multiple donors and is therefore preferred by many physicians.  During a platelet donation, a small portion of your blood (less than one pint at a time), is drawn from your arm and passed through a sophisticated cell-separating machine. The machine collects the platelets and safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to you. After the donation you can resume your normal activities, avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous exercise that day.

According to the American Red Cross: every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood. Before Cami was diagnosed, I never could believe that number. I had no idea. But after going on this cancer journey with her and sitting in clinic watching her get blood transfusion after blood transfusion, that number is much more real to me. We have a friend Elena who has had multiple transfusions in just one week - and occasionally, her transfusion has been delayed because the blood bank didn't have the type of blood she needed. Or there's our cancer friend, Skyler, who has multiple platelet transfusions every day. And there's millions of other cases where people need blood. It is life-saving. And it can be really scary watching your sick child and being told that there isn't the blood they need available.

Some Facts About Blood Supply Needs and Blood Donation -from the American Red Cross
  • One donation can save the lives of up to three people.
  • The demand for blood transfusions is growing faster than donations.
  • Shortages of all blood types usually occur during the summer and winter holidays.
  • Less than 38% of the US population is eligible to donate blood. (So if you can, you can see that you're sorely needed!)
  • It is possible to donate specifically only platelets or plasma. This process is called apherisis.
  • Donated platelets must be used within 5 days of collection - new donations are constantly needed.
  • Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma, and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation - some in a matter of hours, and others in a matter of weeks.
  • The average adult has about 10 to 12 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
  • A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days.
  • A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 3 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.
You must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good general health to donate. (Eligibility requirements may vary in some states and donation centers.)

Please, if you possibly can, get out and donate. 
It's truly one of the best gifts you can give.

This Christmas, GIVE LIFE!


  1. Love it! The pictures are perfect. Blood and bone marrow donors are heroes!!

  2. I'm so mad that they won't let me give blood...ever! First it was because I lived in England during the Mad Cow Era, then it was that I went to the Amazon. The last time I tried they said that I could ever give blood...ever...because I had an untested blood transfusion in England 32 years ago when Jonah was born. Go figure!??? I guess its good that they're careful but really...that is ridiculous! I too am grateful for donors, even though I can't be with one. Love you guys!

  3. Chels,
    I'm pretty sure you will remember me but I'm Lindsey Cannon's friend Steph. I wanted to thank you so much for sharing your families story. The last little while I have been wanting to find somewhere I could volunteer on a regular basis but when I read the post about Cami's Make-a-wish, I knew that I had to find some way to get involved with them. I just completed my application and will hopefully be working with Make a wish to do some volunteer work soon. Your family is truly amazing! You are such a great mother and I can't even being to tell you how impressed I am with your strength. Keep it up.
    -Stephanie Duerden

  4. I love this.. Every time i get a chance i give blood!!

  5. I just thought I would say that since I started reading Cami's blog earlier this year, I have both registered with DKMS and given blood twice.
    The numbers seem so outrageous, almost unrealistic, until you put Cami's beautiful face with the statistics.

  6. You don't know me, but I am grateful for the link to the bone marrow donor registry! I had no clue it existed. I am eternally grateful to the 21-year-old woman who donated bone marrow to my 9-year-old sister (who had myelodysplastic syndrome and AML) when none of us were matches. That was nearly seven years ago. I immediately signed up. It would be wonderful to donate someday and pass on the favor of that selfless woman!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! While it is hard sometimes, I enjoy reading your blog and seeing cute little Cami. She is a strong, sweet little girl and reminds me of my sister (now 16). I have faith that she can emerge from this trial and continue to be a light and inspiration to others. Go Cami!!!

  7. I don't know if you remember me (Eliza Cleverly) from high school or not but I happened across your blog recently. You and your darling family are such an inspiration!

    For my birthday today I joined and am encouraging all my family and friends to join the Be The Match program. It seems appropriate to show gratitude for my life by potentially helping give the gift of life to someone else. So, thank you for sharing the links and your story. God bless you all!


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