The adorable, brave smile to the left belongs to Alex, a four-year-old from Portland who is currently undergoing cancer treatments. Alex’s mom Sara was kind enough to share her son’s story with me and has asked that I share it with you. As a mother of a child with cancer, Sara personally understands the importance of blood and platelet donations and she encourages those who can to give the gift of life.
My son Alexander, who will be 4 on Saturday (4/18), was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma (a blood cancer) back in November. Since that time, his Chemotherapy treatment has reduced his blood counts low enough that he has needed at least 3 whole blood transfusions, and 3 platelet transfusions in just the past 5 months. Since his treatment is 2 years, I know he will be receiving more. Without donors, Alex’s Chemotherapy treatment could not be as rigorous, and successful as we hope it will be.
My husband and I were long time blood donors down in California – donating every 8 weeks. When we moved up here, and began our family, it too easily slipped from our routine. Last month, when we gave blood, we brought our son with us to show him all the good people who were helping him get better through their generous donations. He told me to be brave when I got my “poke”, and even gave me a dollar when I finished!
Sara has also started a blog called Alex’s Battle that documents her son’s progress with cancer. I encourage you to check it out–the bravery and maturity that Alex consistently shows (keep in mind that he’s only four!) is truly inspirational. His mother’s optimism about Alex’s future is also inspiring: “I think in the end, the experience of battling, and defeating cancer will help Alex develop great coping skills, and a sense of deep compassion for others.”
Many thanks to Sara for sharing Alexander’s story. Here at the American Red Cross, we wish you, Alex and all of your family the best as you continue this fight together.