Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
“I have a great appreciation now for blood donors”, Jessica Sartin, Felder’s mother, said. “Both my husband and I will be blood donors from now on.”
Felder Sartin was an active little four-year-old boy, playing sports and games with his friends. He was looking forward to attending four-year-old Kindergarten and doing all the things children his age get to do. But shortly after the school year started, Felder wasn’t feeling well—he was running a low-grade temperature and his legs were hurting him. Doctors performed tests and ran scans to see what was causing Felder to feel bad and on August 29, 2008 his parents received the news no one wants to hear. Their son was diagnosed with leukemia. He was admitted to Blair E. Batson Hospital for children and on September 2 he began chemotherapy.
Felder’s prognosis is bright. Doctors detected the disease in its early stages and he is already going into remission. But Felder still has a long way to go to full recovery.
Part of the treatment plan for many leukemia patients includes receiving red blood cells to manage anemia and platelets to manage bleeding and bruising1. Although he has not needed blood transfusions in the early stages of treatment, doctors have cautioned his parents that he probably will. As a result, Felder’s parents took a proactive approach to this news and held several blood drives for their son.
“I have a great appreciation now for blood donors,” Jessica Sartin, Felder’s mother, said. “Both my husband and I will be blood donors from now on.”
During this dark time in their lives, Jessica and Gareth Sartin were awed by the support they received from their community.
“I was [astonished] by the response from our community and church. So many people came out in support of our son,” Jessica added. “So many people feel helpless. But then someone says: ‘We can give blood.’ Thank you to all blood donors for all that you’ve meant to us for what we have gone through with our sick child.”
Knowing that blood will be there if and when Felder should need it encourages the Sartins. Donating regularly ensures an adequate blood supply to Mississippi hospital patients like Felder.