In November of 2019 I was diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP for short). ITP is a rare blood disease where your immune system mistakenly attacks your platelets, thus causing your blood to not be able to clot. If you have any active bleeding, you can essentially bleed out and die from it. Since being diagnosed, I’ve had 3 eventful hospital stays and 4 relapses. The longest I’ve gone without a relapse was from November 2019 – August of 2020. I actually had thought I was in the clear. Following August, I relapsed again in November 2020 and most recently in April 2021.
Before my diagnosis I had NEVER heard of ITP. Even once diagnosed, I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t think it would be an issue. Then as the relapses happened, I realized I needed to educate myself and everyone around me. I’ve spent the last year(ish) learning about ITP, how it affects people, what my options are, attended support groups, and so much more. My treatment has been a mixture of platelet transfusions and IVIG transfusions (made up of plasma), paired with steroids. There are THREE times that I can account for where had I not been able to receive transfusions, I may have died.
I used to be an avid blood donor and now at the sweet age of 36, I’ve become a recipient on more than one occasion. My heart is so very grateful for the selfless people that donate their blood, plasma and platelets. When I heard that the nation was having a blood shortage, I thought it was the perfect time to raise some awareness about ITP and host a blood drive.
I’m having an in person blood drive in my hometown of Tracy on June 21st. I’ve had many people who don’t live nearby inquire about how they can participate SO we created this virtual drive. The great thing is, we can run for a couple months so that anyone and everyone can participate, regardless of where you live!