Ben’s Journey

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Ben Bane is a 27 year old graduate of Lord Botetourt and Virginia Tech. He is currently employed by Carilion as the Scribe Manager. His family physician, Dr. Karen Perkins, recommended that he get some further testing performed. After those results were reviewed, it was determined that he had some form of cancer, originally thought to be lymphoma. Another biopsy was done and sent to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York where it was determined that Ben had Ewing’s Sarcoma, a very rare form of cancer that typically grows in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones.

It was determined that he needed to start a very intense course of chemotherapy. One set of drugs was administered over a one night stay in the hospital and the second set, 14 days later over a 5 night stay. This has to be repeated for a total of 14 treatments. Fortunately, the chemo could be administered at Carilion.

“Blood donations have played a huge part in my treatment. One of the side effects of the chemotherapy is anemia. Throughout treatment, I have received over 15 units of blood. Besides the fact that I always felt so much better after receiving a blood transfusion, it was also critical for me to be able to receive blood to help me stay on track with my treatments. If I had not received the transfusions, they would have had to delay my treatments which obviously would not be ideal.”

And while Ben would undergo the Whipple Procedure to treat his cancer, it was blood and platelets that proved to be most helpful.

“Before being diagnosed with cancer last year, I never realized how important blood donations really are. I always assumed that blood products go to patients who have been in car wrecks or have some other form of trauma. While I know a lot of blood products still go to those patients, I am now much more aware of how important blood products are for a much broader range of people.” says Ben Bane.