One month after his third birthday, Dominic was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. As part of his treatment, he has received eight blood transfusions, which according to Dominic’s mother, Lara, had a dramatic impact on how Dominic felt. “His hemoglobin kept dropping significantly, which made him just exhausted. Even if he wanted to play, he physically did not have what he needed in his body to be able to do that. it was incredible to see after a blood transfusion, how much better he looked, how much better he felt, how much better he acted,” explained Lara, Dominic’s mother.
Dominic, who is now four years old has been on treatment for 590 days and still has about eight more months of chemotherapy. Lara believes the blood transfusions have enabled him to live as much of a normal life as possible, particularly during the early treatment for the leukemia.
Dominic’s mother and his family know firsthand how critical blood donation is for patients like her son, adding “I hope people realize that you are giving such a gift to other people, to the kids, to their families.” Lara said that it was a gift knowing that blood was available for her son and having one less thing to be concerned about. She explained that each transfusion took about four hours but by the end she could see the positive difference it made on her son, “We could see his [Dominic] color changing, we could see his energy coming back.”
Lara and her family are grateful for the generosity of blood donors and would like to give back in the future through blood drives or by sharing their story to bring awareness about the importance of rolling up our sleeves to give blood.
The need for blood is constant, and by giving blood you are making a difference in the lives of patients like Dominic. To schedule an appointment to donate, please visit redcrossblood.org.
Written by Isis Chaverri, Regional Communications Director.