“It was scary as heck.”
That’s how Erica Honoway described the moments after her four-year-old son Lincoln was diagnosed with aplastic anemia when he was three.
The condition is a deficiency of all types of blood cells caused by a bone marrow development failure.
Erica said Lincoln had dangerously low blood counts.
“The night that Lincoln was diagnosed he slept in my arms at the Regina General Hospital while blood and platelets of strangers dripped into his body.”
Honoway said there were two treatment options available to them: immunosuppression therapy – a treatment that prevents the immune system from attacking the bone marrow allowing it to grow – or a transplant.
After testing her three other children to find out if they could be donors, none of them were a match.
Honoway said they next tried the therapy.
It didn’t work.
“They searched the registries in all the world and found two matches and the first one didn’t work out and we were down to one option.”
Luckily, their last option turned out to be the one that saved Lincoln’s life.
“I always say when I set out their four plates for supper, fill up their four milk cups and I always say I’m so grateful to still have all of them and other moms can relate to that.”
She said it was the blood from donors that helped keep Lincoln alive and now Canadian Blood Services is hoping moms feel the need to donate in May.
The “Moms Give Life” campaign is running throughout the month.
“We’re trying to encourage 150 moms to step forward in Regina and in Saskatoon and give the gift of life to someone, another mom who needs it right now,” said Katherine Wasylynka, Canadian Blood Services territory manager for southern Saskatchewan.
Wasylynka wanted people to know they only need to take an hour of their time this month to make an impact on people’s lives.