Jase faced his cancer with an army of donors

Jase faced his cancer with an army of donors

Jase’s cancer diagnosis brought a community of blood donors together

The following article was first published in January 2023. Sadly, since its publication, Jase Nelson has passed away. As a man who always thought of others, Jase and his family have requested the article remain online, to serve as a reminder that there is always something you can do to support a loved one in need. To date, Jase’s Lifeblood Team has made over 1000 donations and for that he’ll always be a life-saver to us. Thank you Jase. 

Before his diagnosis, Jase was living a normal life. He was married to the woman he loved, had two beautiful children and was running a successful plumbing business. Everything was going according to plan – until it wasn’t. Deep inside Jase’s bones, his stem cells had begun overproducing white blood cells that were too immature to prevent infection. Jase didn’t realise it, but he was experiencing the first signs of a deadly cancer known as Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, and his world was about to change forever.

Like most Australians, Jase had a vague idea of what cancer treatment involved. He knew he would need to undergo chemotherapy and he had some idea that blood and bone marrow donations could be required, but nothing could prepare him for what he was about to face.

Jase’s only chance at survival was a stem cell transplant, but before he could receive the treatment he needed to undergo chemotherapy. While it was vital in killing off any cancerous cells, it also decimated his immune system and his body’s ability to produce red blood cells. The heavy doses of chemo left Jase vulnerable to infection and there were a few occasions these almost proved fatal. Recounting one of the scarier moments Jase recalls, “I had 5 haematologists, 5 ICU doctors and a bunch of nurses, pumping everything into me to prevent my body shutting down as my brave wife Sarah watched on helplessly. Over 24 hours, I received 4 blood transfusions as well as a platelet transfusion. If it wasn’t for the Geelong Hospital medical staff and the donors who gave their blood, I don’t think I would have survived.”

After one of his close calls, Jase’s brother-in-law Pete set up a Lifeblood Team for him. Named Long Live Jase Nelson, the group was created to give anyone who cared for him a way to show their support. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of people who really care about Jase. Currently, the team has over 200 donors and while Jase is no longer with us, they continue to carry the torch. Long Live Jase Nelson donate in honour of his memory, ensuring recipients receive the blood products they need to undergo cancer treatment. 

So, if you’re like Jase and you’re always looking out for those around you, giving blood is one of the most meaningful and impactful things you can do. You can book a donation as an individual or make your own team. Whatever you choose, know the blood you give can make all the difference to someone in need.