Blood donors are standing up (while sitting down) for kids living with cancer
Classmates Piper and Tom have smiles that could light up any room. Like the rest of their classmates, they love getting up to mischief and just want to have fun. But for now, their mischief-making has been put on hold while these two little kids face a challenge no child should have to face – cancer.
Piper has been diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour while Tom is being treated for a rare form of sarcoma, a type of cancer that can develop in the body’s bones and soft tissue.
Every year in Australia, it’s estimated that approximately 750 children under the age of 14 will be diagnosed with a form of cancer. Almost half of these children are aged under 4 (at the time of diagnosis) and around one-third will be diagnosed with leukaemia – a form of blood cancer. According to Cancer Council Victoria, rates of childhood cancer have been steadily climbing over recent decades with a 35% increase between 1983 and 2014.
While these statistics can be scary to read, it’s important to understand, that for kids like Piper and Tom, there is always hope. Through the tireless work of researchers, doctors, nurses and medical professionals, Australians living with cancer have access to world-leading care. Of course, there is one other group of people who play a vital role in the treatment of cancer – blood donors.
For Tom, he simply wouldn’t be able to receive the care he needs without blood donations. Like many people living with cancer, Tom must undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy to eliminate the cancerous cells in his body. Unfortunately, this process can also supress his ability to produce blood cells, leading to fatigue and compromising his immune system. To combat this, Tom receives regular blood transfusions, replenishing his body’s blood cells and giving him the strength to continue his treatment.
The impact these donations have had isn’t lost on Piper and Tom’s families. Since their diagnosis, both kids’ fathers have become regular donors. Between them, these two dads have made over 50 donations, providing much-needed blood products for kids just like Piper and Tom, but they can’t do it alone.
If you’d like to show your support for the countless children living with cancer, become a blood donor and help us ensure every child receives the care they need. To book a donation visit Lifeblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.