Grayson's remarkable story began back in 2016, when he was diagnosed with Infant T-Cell Leukemia and given just a 10% chance to live. But thanks to the lifesaving blood transfusions he received along with support from generous blood donors, he was able to beat cancer!
We recently caught up with Grayson's mother to get an update on her son's health and her thoughts about his amazing recovery.
How have blood transfusions impacted your family’s life?
Our son is with us today living a normal childhood in part because of blood transfusions. They were an essential part of his cancer journey.
How did you help Grayson understand what he was going through? How did you explain blood transfusions?
Grayson was a toddler, so fortunately we didn’t have to do much explaining! His sister asked a lot of questions. She was between the ages of 3 and 5 during his treatment.
We shared with her that Grayson’s blood was sick and weak, and that good, strong blood is vital for our bodies to work correctly. We talked about how kind and unselfish people who didn’t even know us shared their “extra” good, strong blood to make sure her brother could fight cancer!
How has Grayson's life changed since we featured his testimonial?
Grayson is now finishing 2nd grade, and in August celebrated five years cancer-free, officially deeming him a cancer survivor! He loves all sports and is currently playing baseball, loves riding his bike, and hanging out with friends!
What would you say to our incredible community of blood donors?
Thank you!! When Grayson was first diagnosed he received blood transfusions frequently, and they were essential to his survival. Specifically at diagnosis, he had such a low hemoglobin count he was hardly getting any oxygen to his organs because the cancer had overridden his blood with too many white leukemic cells.
If we hadn't gotten him to the hospital and had a transfusion started very quickly, our story - his story - would be very different. We don’t take that for granted. I know someone gave blood one day not knowing who would get it or why - but one day in August of 2013, an 11-month-old received that donation and it saved his life.
What message would you tell someone who has never donated blood?
If it was for your family or your child, you likely wouldn’t think twice about the needle or the time it takes to make a donation. Live every day as if it could be for your family or even your child.
We never thought we would be on the receiving end until we were. Just as you would hope someone would give for you, give for others. And writing this reminds me that even I need to get back and donate again. Life gets busy, but you’ll never regret a donation or taking the time to impact someone’s life.
Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for other families experiencing a similar situation to what you went through?
The most important and common thing I tell caregivers is that it is easy to focus on the negative and harshness of your new world. YOU have to focus on the good. Every single day, at the end of the day, make sure you find ONE “good” thing in your day.
Some days it will be great medical news! Other days it will be harder to find and you’ll settle on, “That girl smiled at me in the hall.” But always find something! And you never know, one day it may be the good is that unknown person who donated blood and literally pumped life back into your child that day.
Are there any other updates you would like to share?
We are forever grateful for the donors who were a part of our journey. Although we will never know who they are, our prayer is that one day they hear a story like Grayson’s and know, deep in their hearts, that they played an essential role in his survival.
THEY are the reason this momma has watched him skip off to elementary school, that he hit a baseball and ran to the bases at his first game, and that he proudly shares with others, “I’m cancer-free!”
You can be a community hero for cancer patients like Grayson who rely on blood and platelet donations. Book your next donation appointment today.