Donate blood – save a life

It is blood cancer awareness month. Thank you blood donors! You may not realize how much your simple act of kindness means but you are helping save so many lives.

Many blood donors help save my life during my 1-year long leukemia battle as

an in-patient at Johns Hopkins

Thank you to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for sharing my story to help raise awareness of the value of blood donations for blood cancer patients.

I will be in Northern Virginia at a blood bank September 11th to share my story and to volunteer my time.

I want to thank and hug every single person who walks in that door to donate blood.

I always brag about bone marrow donors but I cannot forget how much blood donations help keep people like me alive during the fight.
Just to explain how cancer treatment and blood donations go hand-in-hand.

The goal of the chemotherapy is to kill all the cells in your body and take destroy the cancer with it. That means your blood counts (Red, White, Platlets) are knocked down as low as they can go and keep you alive. For a while your body will sort of hang out at some very very low numbers as your body tries to reboot and start producing its own (hopefully cancer free) but sometimes you dip dangerously low and you need blood transfusions to keep you alive.

I was one of those patients. There are many of them. At certain stages I needed red blood transfusions and platelets daily and other stages it was every other day. I got so many blood transfusions that my body built up a tolerance and I started to have bad reactions and my body would only accept from ONE person in Johns Hopkins blood bank. At one point, my blood levels were so low and I desperately needed blood from this “perfect match” that they called this kind gentleman and begged him to come in and donate again just for me. I was in awe. I knew the donations were private and I would never know his name but I would cry and think about what a gift of life he was giving me. I wanted to find him and hug him. I wanted to show this man a pictures of my family and just say the words THANK YOU.
YOU can be that person to someone fighting blood cancer. You can donate at any location that is convenient or you can come see us, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at one of our many blood drives around the area.
This is a great way to kick off all events leading up to the Light The Night Walks around the country.
God bless you all for your blood donations.

Thank you for #ArmoringUp and helping patients like me stay alive during such a tough treatment so we can get to transplant.

Loriana Hernandez