Leukemia patients from Alaska are flown to Seattle for treatment due to our limited population, limiting the number of potential matches for blood and platelets, especially when donors need to be "matched" like in my case. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't reflect on those TWO DONORS who were the ONLY ones in the entire Puget Sound area that matched my platelets when I needed life-giving transfusions from the Puget Sound Blood Center. THANK YOU. I had a condition that required me to receive only "matched" donor platelets after the monthly rounds of high-dose chemo and Leukemia killed my platelets off. During one particularly difficult round and my blood not clotting, this donor was called and drove for two hours to the Puget Sound Blood Center to donate their precious platelets that restored my levels. When the bag was rushed into my room the team and I referred to the platelets as "bags of liquid gold" not only for it's beautiful golden color but the life-giving properties it held. Due to privacy laws we don't know who these heroes were, but as a blood donor this may have been you.
When I nervously got off of the airplane on my final trip home, Gus, who was only four years old saw my baldness for the first time. Before anyone could give any explanation, without a concern Gus brightly said "don't worry Mom, you can get some new hair at Walmart they have everything!"
It's good for me to reflect on this time because as life, deadlines or my art making may start to feel overwhelming, sometimes I'm quick to take life for granted -hard to believe after my ordeal but I admit it's true. So today I'm taking pause, reflecting, feeling grateful and sharing. I wish to be a light of hope for others currently being treated for Cancer and serve as a gentle reminder that wherever you are, please GIVE BLOOD because the life you may save was mine 12 years ago.
Blood Bank of Alaska
Puget Sound Blood Center
|Sunset in Barrow, Alaska in February|