Brampton - Nicholas Gorys and his family are encouraging you to celebrate the Family Day holiday this month by giving a 'family size' blood donation on February 23, 2009 at the Bramalea Baptist Church blood donor clinic at 9050 Dixie Road, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Every blood donor can help up to three patients with just one donation, so how many patients and their families can your family help when you donate together?
Nicholas understands only too well the value of blood donors. Although only five years old and in Senior Kindergarten at Our Lady of Peace School in Brampton, he has already overcome leukemia with the help of a stem cell transplant from his brother and the support of blood and platelet donations.Nicholas and his family will be at the blood donor clinic to welcome and thank blood donors.
Nicholas was nineteen months old in July of 2005 when he was diagnosed at SickKidsHospital in Toronto with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.Weeks of coughing, mouth sores, bruising and illness had preceded the diagnosis.In critical condition by the time he was admitted due to extremely high levels of white blood cells in his blood, Nicholas needed emergency dialysis treatment to lower his blood count.
"He was literally dying in our arms. He would have died within the next twenty four hours if he hadn't begun treatment immediately," said Julius Gorys, Nicholas' father.
Nicholas spent the next five months in hospital undergoing five rounds of chemotherapy as he relapsed twice.He received blood and platelet transfusions almost every other day for 4 of those 5 months.Blood donors were a crucial element in his survival.
Nicholas received a stem cell transplant from his brother on November 18, 2005 at SickKidsHospital.This past November, Nicholas went back for his 3 year post transplant assessment and was given a clean bill of health from his physician.
"Almost two floors of Sick Kid's Hospital are devoted to children with blood related diseases like leukemia. It is both hell and heaven on earth.The scale of the overwhelming need for blood donors for these children is difficult to even contemplate," says Julius. "We want to thank all blood donors for helping Nicholas and children like him to survive."
Family Day is the ideal time to save lives as a family since, according to Canadian Blood Services, over half of all Canadians say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment (Ipsos-Reid). First time donors between the ages of 17 to 61 are always welcome.
Blood donors are especially needed this month around the Family Day holiday since platelets, a blood component needed by many patients undergoing treatment for cancer, have a short 'shelf life' of only five days, making supplies sensitive to disruptions like long weekends. Four blood donors are needed to make just one unit of platelets.
Call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or visit www.blood.ca to book an appointment or to learn more about clinic locations and eligibility requirements.