In Memory of Audrey Akins

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On November 24th 2022 at the age of 55 my mom passed away after three year battle with Leukemia. During her fight she underwent hundreds of blood and platelet infusions, which ultimately prolonged her life. On this first anniversary of her passing I’m asking for your assistance in gathering blood donations in her memory. I’m so incredibly grateful for the kindness of others that allowed me those extra years with my mom, and I promised her that I would do all that I could to continue bringing awareness to blood related cancers and helping others in her position. Through my mom’s experience I learned that often times blood banks operate on low supply, causing worry and uncertainty for patients and staff alike. Your donations mean the world to my family, and provide hope and light to all patients and families fighting this devastating fight. Thank you in advance for your loving donations!

In February of 2020, my mom was diagnosed with a four in a million (literally) type of cancer called Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia aka CMML. Needless to say, this is incredibly rare. After undergoing chemotherapy for months, in December of 2020 when underwent a very complex stem cell transplant where she remained in the hospital for three months. With all of this taking place during the height of covid we were all on edge, but my mom being the fighter that she is endured down a long road to recovery and eventually made her way into remission by the later months of 2021. Blood cancers are tricky to eliminate and while she was living cancer free for a year, it came back in a new form, Acute Mylenoid Leukemia aka AML which is a more aggressive form of Leukemia, by the end of 2021. In February of 2022 she was hospitalized yet again as the cancer worsened. She was going through another, round of chemotherapy when she she contracted Covid in the hospital, which should’ve been an immediate death sentence but some how, no immune system and all, she fought her way through to recovery and back into remission by late spring. I’m convinced that my mom was the strongest person ever. However the cancer came back for a third time in September of 2022, leaving her with very few solutions as she’d exhausted the limited options the doctors had. Chemotherapy held her steady through October, but by November 19th we were moving her into Windsor-Essex Hospice, where we lost her at 4:13am on November 24th. While me mom’s story didn’t end as we’d hoped, she found comfort that her experience would spark conversations around blood donation and blood cancers, and knew that the medical research attained from her extremely rare diagnosis would help others in the future.