Reed Dykes never realized how important blood and platelet donations are – until he was diagnosed with leukemia. Now, as he fights the disease, he relies on regular blood transfusions from Marsh Regional Blood Center for the strength to keep fighting.
I was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome - a type of leukemia - on May 20, 2013.
My treatments began immediately, and when they did, my complete blood count dropped. I needed a platelet infusion before a bone marrow biopsy could even be performed to confirm my diagnosis.
I became a regular at Wellmont Cancer Institute infusion room, getting blood and platelets before I went to Vanderbilt for a stem cell transplant.
Even though I had a great experience at Vanderbilt, there is a risk with my compromised immune system. My new stem cells have been slow to engraft, and I have required a pint of blood every week since February.
I now go to the Wellmont Cancer Institute's office in Kingsport, where the chemotherapy nurses and staff are very aware of cancer patients' lack of immunity.
Without blood and platelet donations, I would not be here today.
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