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No excuses

  

Karisa

Loganville, GA
January 07, 2014
I am terrified of needles. I get weak in the knees and sick to my stomach at the sight of blood, especially my own. Even though my parents always donated blood at Red Cross drives when I was growing up, I never even attempted a donation prior to June 2008. While I would regularly volunteer to help at blood drives hosted at my work, I would never actually give any blood. I had all the excuses: I am scared of needles and blood, it hurts too much, I am helping by volunteering so I don't need to give etc. That all changed on June 15, 2008, the day my stepson Devan who was only 16 years old went to the hospital with what we thought was a bad case of the flu. He passed away 5 days later on June 20, 2008 from what we now know was a rare blood disorder called HLH (Hemophagocytic LymphoHistiocytosis), which caused his white blood cells to destroy his red blood cells and caused complete organ failure. During his hospital stay, the medical staff gave him multiple units of blood to try and save his life. Even though they could not save our boy, I vowed that I would donate blood from then on to hopefully save someone else the unbearable and unending pain of losing a child. I gave blood for the first time in July 2008 at a drive in Devan's honor, and have continued to give every 2 - 3 months since. We have also had 3 other blood drives in Devan's honor and memory since then. I do not ever enjoy the experience but if my brave boy could endure all the iv's, shots, tests and pain of his hospital stay and thank the nurses for helping him before he passed, I learned that my minimal and short lived discomfort is a small price to pay to save a life. I think of him every single day and every time I donate. I have no more excuses. Please give the gift of life by donating blood if you are eligible. Always and forever in my heart Devan Levi Drouault, 02/26/1992 - 06/20/2008