Posts Tagged ‘blood disorder’


Every other Wednesday, I take 2-3.5 hours out of my day to give platelets.  If I am really honest with myself, I don’t love it.  The good news is that it is only a little uncomfortable (if that) and the Red Cross staff is warm and witty.  And when it is all done I have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life.

For me, deciding to give was actually one of the easiest choices I have ever made.  In July, 1993, my son Aryeh was born with a rare blood disorder.  The ONLY thing that kept him alive were platelet donations.  If it weren’t for some random people donating their platelets, Aryeh would not be in our lives today.  The good news is that he made it and now it is my job to pay it forward.

Today’s reality is that platelets are always running at a deficit; there just isn’t enough to accommodate all the needs.  Here is just an example of how platelets are used for different patients:

  • Bone Marrow Transplant—> 1-2 units daily for 4-6 weeks
  • Leukemia –> 6-8 units daily for 2-4 weeks
  • Liver Transplant –> 10 units
  • Open Heart Surgery –> 1-10 units

So while I might sit for a few hours, my 2 – 3 units is only a pittance of what is needed to make a difference.  Yet what I am giving does make a difference.  Someone’s life can have a chance because I am willing to hang out reading a good book, listening to my iPod, or just, or watching a movie.  How simple is that.

If you haven’t considered giving your platelets before, consider it.  If you aren’t able or willing to sit for so long, volunteer to give whole blood.  There is a lot of blood needed and summer time seems to always be a little low for collections for the Red Cross.

Don’t think about it, if you can give, just do it!  You could be responsible for saving a life. Call 800-RED CROSS or 800-733-2767 to find out about where you can donate.

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In a perfect world, celebrating your child’s birthday should be a given.  When our children come into our lives, we expect that good health will be a given and each day will be full of living and thriving.  Sometimes we aren’t blessed with such a beautiful scenario.  Sometimes life is a struggle.

Today is a day full of gratitude for everyone in our family.  Aryeh came into this world with a roar; he was a fighter from the start and that has stayed with him as he faced and continues to face each chapter in his life.

Aryeh and Pita

Life is not a given.  Good health is not a given.  Our family was fortunate.

Aryeh’s strength and character has served him well.  I am thrilled that he was a fighter during his health challenges at birth when he was the first child to survive a horrible blood disorder and then again during his early teenage years when he struggled with complications of a 6.5 cm arachnoid cyst in his brain.  Nearly three years in bed did not destroy his spirit.  It did, however, cause him tremendous pain.  Even with that pain, Aryeh always persevered.
Aryeh fought for his life!

Next week, my precious child will do what many parents take for granted.  Aryeh will be traveling to Israel on a birthright trip.  He will be traveling the country with other adults from all over the United States and from the Jewish Renewal movement.  Before the last year or so, it could have never happened.  Aryeh’s struggle with health meant he couldn’t do what is normal for other children.  Summer camp, going abroad, even college was not a possibility until a year or so ago.  Today the only limits that exist for Aryeh are the limits he places on himself.

Aryeh’s name means lion in Hebrew; we didn’t plan to have his name represent his essence, but it does.  With tears of joy and intense emotions flowing through my soul today, I am ecstatic that Aryeh has always been blessed with a spirit for life.  May he continue to roar with each and every leap he takes.

Aryeh is 19 years old!   Yay!!!

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