Rachel Reynolds

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Rachel Reynolds and her daughter Charlotte

I have been donating blood regularly since high school. At that point, for me, a “regular” donation was maybe 2 or 3 times a year when I thought about it.  I just did it because I knew it was a good thing to do and that it helped others.

Then, in January 2009, my only daughter Charlotte was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. She was three years old at the time.  Over the next year, she endured four brain surgeries, multiple rounds of chemo, proton radiation, and many other procedures. We learned firsthand the importance of blood and platelet donations.  With all of her surgeries and the effects of the cancer treatments, blood and platelet donations were very regular for us.  Despite excellent medical intervention, Charlotte succumbed to the aggressive tumor and lost her life in January 2010.

Through this experience, I renewed my efforts to be a regular blood donor. I started giving platelets last year and gave 10 times.  For 2012, my goal is to donate 12 times and I am on pace to do so.  Each time I give, I think of my daughter and the many other children who need platelet donations to keep them healthy through the toxic chemotherapy procedures that save their lives.  I think of the bravery of these cancer warriors and I realize that a little weakness or dizziness on my part is a small sacrifice.