When Angie Heyboer was a kid her father would come home occasionally wearing an “I Donated” sticker, which he would always put on her nose or forehead as he walked through the door. It took her several years to figure out what he was donating, but it wasn’t until her own son needed blood that she realized how important those donations were.
Ryan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when we was two-and-a-half years old, and over the last three years has received numerous blood transfusions. The day he was admitted into the pediatric intensive care unit he received both a red blood cell transfusion and a platelet transfusion. His platelet counts were so low that the doctors were surprised he hadn’t bled to death.
“Cancer is a scary word,” says Angie, “especially when you’re told your child has it. We were given so much information, lived through new procedures and new medications and the idea of the unknown. My little boy has had to fight harder than anyone I have ever met. Had it not been for the numerous blood transfusions he received, he wouldn’t have even gotten the chance to fight and show me what a strong little guy he is.”
Ryan is scheduled to be done with his treatment for leukemia in February, 2013. Angie donates blood now, just like her father did. “I give blood to give someone else a fighting chance.”