Treatments for blood diseases like sickle cell anemia and leukemias commonly involve multiple blood transfusions for a single patient. Often, those patients are children like Marquon and Jawn. This September, during Sickle Cell Awareness Month and Blood Cancer Awareness Month, their families share their experiences, showing just how vital your blood and platelet donations are to their survival.
Six-year-old Jawn was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2021, two days after his baby brother was born. Seven months later – the day after Christmas – his hemoglobin level dropped so low that he had to be airlifted to the local children’s hospital.
Blood and platelet donations were critical for helping Jawn in his battle. He needed 12 blood transfusions as well as nearly 60 platelet donations throughout his treatment. Jawn is now in remission and even led his town's Fourth of July parade this year – on a float designed to raise awareness for blood donation and childhood cancer.
Marquon has sickle cell disease, an inherited disorder that affects red blood cells. He has already experienced a stroke, one of many possible sickle cell complications. There is no cure for the chronic condition, but frequent blood transfusions are one of the main treatments to help prevent and lessen these complications.
Every two weeks, Marquon, 7, gets a blood transfusion. "Without the generosity of blood donors, Marquon might not survive," his mom, Ahliah said.
African Americans are more likely to have the select rare blood types needed to support sickle cell patients. In fact, 1 in 3 African American blood donors are a match for a sickle cell patient.
Schedule your appointment to help patients like Marquon and Jawn today.