On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Free For You, Worth EVERYTHING To Them

This CHRISTMAS, here are two relatively simple, FREE gifts you can give your fellow man:

1. Get registered in the bone marrow donor registry: http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/. There are many people who need a life-saving bone marrow transplant, but who don't have a match. Last month I read about Shannon Tavarez, an 11 year old girl with AML, who passed away. She needed a bone marrow transplant and a perfect match couldn't be found.  It is particularly difficult to find matches for people who are mixed race. YOU could be someones match. It takes about five minutes to get signed up. Get registered and give someone hope! Our friend Rachel was able to find a donor, can you imagine if she was saved because of YOUR marrow? What an amazing gift for everyone involved!

Erin receiving red blood yesterday. 


2. Donate blood at your local Red Cross you can also go HERE if you would like to donate solely to patients at Primary Children's. You can donate blood or platelets.  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. Erin has received 13 blood transfusions and 13 platelet transfusions. One of our friends, Amelia, had 3 transfusions just in her 1st 2 days of treatment. 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 are millions of other cases where people need blood. It is life-saving.

It takes 2 hours for Erin to receive her red blood transfusions, but it only take 30 minutes for someone to go through the donation process.  Last month I donated red blood with the Red Cross and it took me 7 minutes to fill the bag for a donation.
  
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 this holiday season. It's one of the best gifts you can give.

This Christmas, GIVE LIFE!

Red Blood and Platelets



**feel free to copy and paste this post onto your blog (I DID via- The Flamm Family) - spread the word!

3 comments:

  1. I don't want to be nosy but I think I recognize the bear your little bear is holding. Every Christmas we drop off 24 bears to the ICS unit in honor of Kristen. We made a drop yesterday. to see her holding that bear makes it all worth it for me.
    Just this past October one of our little friends needed a transplant and I sent in for my donor kit. It was easy.

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  2. Thank you so much for the build a bear. I wrote you a note on Kristen's blog. Again, thank you!

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