Hi everyone!! Many of you know the story of what is going on with my son. and to those who do, please bear with me. to those of you who do not, I have a 29 year old son named Eric who started having some neurological symptoms back in June. it started out with weakness and numbness in his legs. This spread up in to his arms, then his face. His vision began to fail and his speech became slurred. Although the doctors were running an ton of tests, everything was negative and they were at a loss. He was originally thought to have MS. On Dec 6th, he went into respiratory failure and was rushed to the hospital. There he underwent a barrage of tests…xrays, CT scans, a whole body MRI, EKG, EEG, EMG, a ton of blood work, Lumbar puncture. and a nerve biopsy. We finally had a diagnosis. CIDP. Chronic Inflammatory Demyelenating Polyneuropathy. Basically, his body is attacking the Myelon sheath of his nerves. This is a rare autoimmune disorder. He was started immediately on IvIG infusions to attempt to slow the progression and was doing fairly well. He does have side effects, but in 2 months went from being wheelchair bound since his hospital admission to walking with a walker, and working towards walking with a cane. He was getting infusions every other week and the routine was working for him. That is until a week and a half ago when he was told he would not be receiving his treatment due to a national shortage of IvIG. Typically, at about day 10-11, the IvIg begins to wear off, and his symptoms begin to return. By the day of his infusion, he is truly in need of it. On day one after his missed infusion, he developed severe pain in both calves. By day 3, he was no longer able to walk with his walker, and having increased difficulty transferring. As of now, he cannot propel himself in his wheelchair, comb his own hair, and is having difficulty getting food to his mouth. If he does not get his infusion soon, the damage may become permanent and could become worse.
IvIG is made from blood plasma. I had to do something. I contacted the American Red Cross. I learned that IvIG is made from batches of thousands of donors. I asked what I could do to help. This is what I came up with…I approached my amazing Executive Director, Faun, and asked her if Heart to Heart would be willing to host a blood drive. Knowing that it will not solve the problem, but it would be a start. Faun enthusiastically agreed!!! She was even willing to change the tentative date for our staff meeting to have it on the date the Red Cross had available! So that being said, we will be hosting a blood drive on May 21st from 8a-2p at the Heart to Heart Mishawaka office. If you are to far away, or if that date doesn’t work for you, using this link will also contribute to his cause!!
All I can do right now is beg… plead for your help. although the blood collected is not GUARANTEED to go directly to Eric, my prayer is that we will make a difference. 10 minutes of your time, one small needle stick and a unit of blood will help SOOOO many. When I told my son about this, he was reduced to tears. He has always been a donor and still has his donor card. I understand that many people are afraid to donate, but I am begging. Without the donations, MY fear is that I will lose my son. At 29, he is facing a ton of fears… please join me and hold out your arm to save his life….
Thank you in advance to all those who will. To those who want to but cannot, share the links I send with all of your friends and family who can. and to those who won’t, it’s ok. I love you regardless
We work together every day to do important work. But today, we want to accomplish something even more meaningful. The Red Cross has to collect 15,000 blood donations every day to have enough blood to help patients in 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. That’s a lot of patients in need and all of us, coming together, can help ensure patients receive life saving blood.
So SleevesUp and help us reach our goal. Make and keep an appointment to give blood to the American Red Cross.