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Bradenton, Florida

Ned Fishman is a man who knows what it's like to save lives by donating blood and to have his life saved by other blood donors. The Manatee County Vietnam War veteran fought his own personal battle with cancer not once, but twice.

Ned says Agent Orange, a chemical used in Vietnam in the sixties, led to his Leukemia diagnosis in 2008. "My doctor told me "this is what you have." I said ok what are my options? He said you can go to Moffitt and get treatment and live to be 100 or you'll have about two years to live.


Ned immediately made the short drive to Tampa and began his cancer treatments at Moffitt Cancer Center. He says it was an eye opening experience. "You have no comprehension of the number of people who have cancer, the place is constantly packed." During chemotherapy Ned received multiple blood transfusions and realized the profound impact of his own blood donations. "They think that the blood goes into a bag and then a black hole. It doesn't, it goes into people and takes care of them."

A year of treatments at Moffit helped Ned beat cancer the first time, but he had to rearm himself for another Leukemia battle in 2009. This time, his doctor's battle plan included a bone marrow transplant. "I received a call that they had found a match. This match happened to be surprisingly a ten of ten which was better than my two brothers were."

Thanks to the bone marrow donor, Moffitt doctors, and blood donors, Ned is able to have a second chance at life.

"I am extremely thankful that blood donors helped my husband," said Ned's wife, Joyce Fishman. "Many people in my life have had blood transfusions and without those donors, we wouldn't have that gift of life," said Ned's daughter, Farrah Fishman.

"I'm in remission and I'm cancer free. It's all gravy, after these two years it's just the gravy and the stuffing," said Ned. Ned now realizes the full circle of giving blood. That giving in your own community is connected to treatment in a nearby cancer center. This time, it was Ned who needed the blood transfusions to save his own life.

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