Joanna T. • Staten Island, NY

I am thankful to blood donors because...

I was diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinemia a primary immune deficiency disease in early childhood. I suffered from a list of maladies-failure to thrive pneumonia bronchitis asthma chronic ear infections and hearing loss bladder and kidney infections and swollen lymph nodes. No one ever told me the name of what I had and it wasn't until my early 20's when my condition worsened that I finally began receiving answers about my disease and the treatment for my primary immune deficiency which is immune globulin and is made possible by plasma donations. Without immune globulin I suffered from frequent and severe infections migraines vomiting and dehydration and even low platelets. Before treatment I had one instance where I had internal bleeding and another where I lost all control over my body and couldn't move or speak for days but mostly I just had severe infections that would land me in bed a month or more at a time. I had no appetite was often in pain and also had trouble breathing. I got sick so easy that new infections were really impossible to avoid no matter how careful I was.

Antibody replacement therapy which is made by pooling approx. 60000 plasma donations per batch & removing just the antibodies helps me to have fewer and less severe infections more energy and less pain. I get injections of these antibodies every day. I am usually able to go to the gym enjoy bike riding and take care of my family home & pets. I no longer have complications from the infections that I used to and I do tend to recover in a more normal way. I enjoy a happy life with my family and mostly do so well that few would ever guess there was anything wrong with me unless I tell them. I would like to thank everyone that donates plasma for helping save the lives of patients with primary immune deficiency diseases and other diseases where the only effective treatment is therapy derived from blood. Without blood donations so many of us would not be able to enjoy the lives we do. There is no way to really express my gratitude but from the bottom of my heart I feel thanks for every donor.

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