Patient Stories

When you donate blood to CBCC, you are helping to save the lives of patients right here in our community. Here are just a few of the local lives that have been saved by blood donors like you.

Joe
Matthews, NC

Joe was on the edge of life and death. Blood saved his life. After feeling dizzy off and on, Joe was rushed to a local hospital where doctors discovered stomach ulcers and a cancerous tumor the size of a softball on his pancreas. Joe was suffering from massive internal bleeding and blood transfusion began immediately. During a two-day surgery, Joe lost blood as fast as it could be transfused. Fortunately the bleeding stopped, but not before he had received 145 units of blood.

“There is no doubt blood saved my life,” said Joe, who was in the hospital for four months and recently returned to work part time. “I realized that [after surgery] not a drop of blood was my own.”

Joe
Aubrey

Aubrey
Ansonville, NC

At just six weeks old, Aubrey became a blood recipient. She was born with Hydronephrosis – an enlargement of the kidney. After an initial surgery to try and repair the kidney, a second surgery was required to remove it. During her second surgery, Aubrey received a life-saving blood transfusion that came from CBCC blood donors like you.

Today Aubrey is a healthy, “feisty” and happy one-year-old. When she takes a break from being full of energy and getting into everything, you can find her snuggling with her favorite “taggy” blanket.

“You don’t realize how important something like this [blood donation] is until it happens to you,” says Aubrey’s mom, April. “When it’s your child, you want blood to be available. It makes you appreciate people who give blood.”

Carter
Maiden, NC

Carter began racing to beat the odds while in utero. He was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome during his 18th-week ultrasound. Twenty-one weeks later, Carter was born and lived at a local hospital for four months. While there he underwent open heart surgery at just four days old and again at three months old before heading home to Maiden, N.C. on of all days – Father’s Day.

At age two, he has already been through seven surgeries and required many blood products. Despite all this, he is a healthy and happy little boy who loves playing with toy cars and watching his dad race at East Lincoln Motor Speedway.

Patient update

CBBC is greatly saddened and offers our heartfelt condolences to the family of two-year-old Carter. He tragically succumbed to his condition, but certainly made the world a much brighter place while he was with us. Please join with us in keeping Carter’s family in your prayers and in your thoughts.
Carter
Nicholas

Nicholas
Charlotte, NC

Nicholas has been a fighter since the day he was born. Diagnosed at birth with Sickle Cell Disease – a genetic disorder in which red blood cells form an abnormal crescent shape – Nicholas started having pain crises early on. He has been hospitalized many times and is currently on chronic blood transfusion therapy due to the severity and frequency of pain.

While the effects of Sickle Cell Disease cause Nicholas to miss a lot of school, he doesn’t let it get in his way in striving to be an honor student. His ultimate goal is to pursue college for mechanical engineering after high school. His generous spirit and a wonderful sense of humor shine through, despite all the physical challenges he faces every day. In addition to serving in the children’s ministry at church and mentoring other Sickle Cell patients, Nicholas loves football, basketball, NASCAR and hanging out with family and friends.

He is grateful to local donors like you, who provide him with the opportunity to have a more “normal” life.

Justine
Fort Mill, SC

In September 2010, Justine was a healthy 12 year old girl, going to Kung Fu practice. Suddenly, she developed back and head pain, and her health deteriorated quickly. Within two days of being admitted to Levine Children’s Hospital, Justine was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), a blood cancer that affects bone marrow, blood and the lymphatic system. The aggressive nature of the cancer required an equally aggressive course of treatment. From September 2010 to January 2012, Justine received over 200 doses of chemotherapy, 55 blood and platelet transfusions, 6 bone marrow aspirations and 20 lumbar punctures. She has lost her hair twice, and has endured steroid-induced diabetes, blood clots, allergic reactions to blood and platelets, and osteonecrosis (bone death) in all of her weight bearing joints.

Justine is a Junior Black Belt in Kung Fu and also loves swimming. She has been part of her local swim team for the past six years, and even swam in three meets and served as a junior swim coach while undergoing chemotherapy. Justine and her family are grateful to local donors like you, who supply the blood products she needs to continue her battle against cancer.

Justine
Reid

Reid
Rock Hill, SC

In less than 12 short hours, Reid went from being a normal four-year-old boy - whose only care in the world was getting pushed on a swing by his father - to a cancer patient with a Leukemia diagnosis.

It all began on a spring afternoon when Reid’s mom noticed a circular black bruise that looked like a spider bite on his arm. After Reid also complained of an earache, they kept him home from school and scheduled a visit to the pediatrician. Blood work confirmed that his Hemoglobin and platelets were low, and his white blood cell count was slightly elevated. As the diagnosis unfolded, the family was told they needed to see a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist immediately. Further tests validated their worst fears: Reid has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL.

To rid his body of the disease, Reid has received steroids and nine different chemotherapy medicines. He also receives regular blood transfusions to replenish his body with energy and healthy blood cells.

Today, Reid is able to enjoy doing the things that most boys his age do: he plays with monster trucks and dreams of one day building cars. He continues his fight against cancer with the support of family, friends and local donors like you.

Dennis
Mint Hill, SC

As an Ohio State Buckeye fan, fall is one of Dennis’ favorite times of the year. However, after returning from a football game in September, he didn’t feel quite right. A visit to his doctor for blood work resulted in an immediate blood transfusion. It took several rounds of testing before he was sent to an oncologist and diagnosed with aplastic anemia.

For five months, Dennis underwent a radical form of chemotherapy to rid his body of the disease. During that time, he received more than 125 units of red blood cells and just as many platelets. His white blood cell levels gradually started to rise and Dennis began to feel like himself again. But, like everyone who has dealt with a serious illness knows, this was an uphill battle. After his white blood cell levels dropped again, it was decided that Dennis needed a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately, his brother was a 100% match.

Today, Dennis is free of the disease. Thanks to local donors like you, he is able to spend time with his wife, three children and five grandchildren, and looks forward to many more football seasons as a Buckeye.

Dennis
Elissa

Elissa
Charlotte, NC

When she was just three months old, Elissa was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, a genetic blood disorder in which red blood cells form an abnormal crescent shape. These cells don't move easily through blood vessels and can block blood flow, causing severe pain, tissue damage and even stroke.

At two years old, Elissa suffered her first pain crisis. Elissa's family would soon learn that blood transfusions, which they call 'happy juice', would bring much-needed relief. After each transfusion, her family is comforted as the light comes back into her eyes and the glow returns to her skin.

Despite her illness, she remains high spirited and enjoys dancing, singing, telling jokes and finding new ways to give back, such as fundraising for the Sickle Cell Foundation. Elissa, now nine years old, continues her fight to stay healthy with the support of family, friends and local donors like you.

Jeff
Rock Hill, SC

As an Air Force Veteran, Jeff has fought battles on the front lines in Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey. Now, he’s battling for his life against a different enemy: cancer.

What he thought was just a viral infection picked up from one of his four little boys turned out to be much more. As his temperature soared above 104, blood tests revealed Jeff’s white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin and oxygen levels were low. Jeff was diagnosed with multi-focal pneumonia and further blood tests showed decreased liver function and some abnormal cells. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed his family’s worst fears; Jeff had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. 



Jeff’s introduction to CBCC was originally as an IT consultant. He learned the importance of community blood donation, but never expected to be the patient receiving blood. To date, Jeff has received eight rounds of chemotherapy, spent many nights in the hospital and has received red cells and platelets to support him through his chemotherapy and treatment. 



Through it all, Jeff flies his American flag every day, bravely facing the most important fight of his life with the support of family, friends and local donors like you.

Jeff
Jennabou and Cassandra

Jennabou and Cassandra
Charlotte, NC

Jennabou and Cassandra are sisters. Like all siblings, they were born with similar traits but have grown up to become different people – Jennabou is quiet and reserved, while Cassandra is outgoing and loves to be the center of attention. However different their personalities, they have one thing in common: sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that causes irregularly shaped blood cells. These cells don’t move easily through blood vessels and can block blood flow to limbs and organs resulting in tissue damage, pain episodes and stroke.

While Cassandra hopes for a bone marrow transplant, there is no universal cure for sickle cell disease. Both girls need regular transfusions to replenish their bodies with normal red blood cells. Jennabou, Cassandra and other local sickle cell patients depend on local donors like you.

Michelle
Concord, NC

As a wife, mother and owner of Lake Lynn Lodge in Concord, Michelle’s purpose in life is to care for others. Little did she know that one day she would have to rely on others for the most precious gift of all – life.

As Thanksgiving approached, Michelle found herself tired and lethargic – not from her normal busy pace, but something more. When doctors diagnosed her with Non-Hodgkins Mantle Cell Lymphoma, Michelle gathered her close-knit family at the Lodge to share the news.

She found herself in unfamiliar territory, on the receiving end of many prayers and offers of support. Michelle would not be outdone – before her first chemo treatment, she cut her hair and donated it to Locks of Love so that other patients could benefit.

Treating Michelle’s cancer required 8 rounds of chemo over 6 months. Each round included whole blood and platelet transfusions to restore her energy. Thanks to local blood donors like you, Michelle is preparing for the next step in her treatment, a stem cell transplant.

Michelle
Isabella

Isabella
Charlotte, NC

Isabella “Ib” is a special little girl. She has faced more in her six years of life than most of us will in a lifetime. At just two years of age, she experienced back pain that slowly got worse. Her parents were told that Ib had a tumor above her kidney that resembled a rare childhood cancer. Cancer was also found in her bone marrow and she was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma.

After nine months of treatment Ib was declared cancer-free, but during the first routine scan a brain tumor was detected; the cancer was back. She underwent brain surgery and 18 more months of treatment. Three months later, Ib’s bone marrow tested positive for cancer again and she began receiving high doses of chemotherapy. Throughout her treatment, Ib has received blood and platelets to help her stay strong and fight the cancer. She is currently undergoing antibody treatment and hopes to soon be cancer free.

Despite her illness, Ib is a beautiful little girl who loves to go to the beach, watch movies, and play with her baby doll Abigail. She adores her little brother Grant, baby sister Sophia, dog Bailey and kitty Jake. Ib continues her fight with the support of family, friends and local donors like you.

Visit Isabella's Caringbridge website

Patient update

In June 2012 we lost a dear friend of CBCC who will forever be in our hearts. Isabella passed away from multi-stage cancer at seven years old. Her short life was an inspiring testament to the incredible will of the human spirit and how important the work of CBCC is. Thanks to blood donors like you, Isabella was able to spend more time doing many of her favorite activities and spending precious time with her little brother Grant, baby sister Sophia, dog Bailey and kitty Jake.

Adam
Waxhaw, NC

Adam was like most three-year-old boys. He was full of energy and loved to play with trucks and build forts. When he complained of a stomachache and had a bout of vomiting and fever, doctors thought he had appendicitis. However, a CT scan showed that Adam had a Stage IV Anaplastic Wilms’ Tumor, a very rare childhood kidney cancer.

During his treatment, Adam received 123 rounds of chemotherapy and 18 days of radiation, while battling multiple lung infections. He went into cardiopulmonary arrest twice and was on life support for three weeks. Through all of this, Adam fought for his life, receiving red cells and platelets on a weekly – and sometimes daily – basis supporting him through his chemotherapy and fighting his cancer.

After 310 days and nights in the hospital, Adam was able to go home with his family, thanks to the doctors and nurses at Levine Children’s Hospital and local donors like you.

Today Adam is like any six-year-old little boy – back at school, playing video games, baseball and flag football with his friends.

Visit the Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation website

Visit website

Adam
William

William
Charlotte, NC

Like most expecting parents, Star and Rich were excited and anxious about the birth of their baby boy. William was born on November 24, 2009, but, the first days of his life were difficult – a complication during birth led to a severe respiratory problem. He was supported on a ventilator, and then an ECMO machine.

The ECMO machine functioned as William’s heart and lungs for five long days. During that time, he received type AB, CMV negative platelets. Since less than 2% of the population has this rare blood type, CBCC made a special request to the community. As usual, our dedicated donors came through and provided William’s small body with the blood products he needed until his heart and lungs worked on their own.

After a month in the hospital, William was able to go home. Star and Rich are thankful for the doctors and nurses who saved their son’s life, and for local donors like you.

Gaige
Stanfield, NC

Gaige is energetic and loves to play any sport that involves a ball. However, one fall afternoon this young boy’s energy disappeared. What started as a toothache, quickly turned into news that no parent ever wants to hear…cancer.

A biopsy revealed that Gaige had Burkitt Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Within 24 hours of diagnosis, Gaige’s tumor was surgically removed, but winning the battle would require 5 blood transfusions and 9 chemotherapy treatments over a period of 4 months.

Early diagnosis, skilled caregivers and local blood donors like you provide children like Gaige a second chance at life, one that is cancer free.

Gaige
Jon and Amanda

Jon and Amanda
Rock Hill, SC

Jon was eight years old when he first got sick. His blood levels dropped and his spleen ballooned in size. It took his doctors an entire year to bring the illness under control, and it came back twice over the next 20 years, stronger and more aggressive than before.

When he was 18, Jon began IVIg therapy and started to receive regular red cell transfusions. That helped him until at the age of 28, the disease came back. Doctors have discovered his bone marrow is not producing blood the way nature intended. Complicating the problem, his immune system attacks and destroys healthy blood cells. Now, he receives red cells and platelets every 5 – 7 days.

In September of 2009, CBCC gave Jon an opportunity to meet some of the donors who have sustained his life in this most recent bout. At the time of the introduction, 31 members of our community had unselfishly shared an important part of themselves to help save his life.

Jon recently had a bone marrow transplant at Duke University Hospital. Like many patients, Jon will continue to need the support of donors throughout his treatment. When you donate blood to CBCC, you help save the lives of local patients like Jon who depend on community blood donors.

View this video
Follow Jon on Caring Bridge

Joe Clipston and Family
Monroe, NC

When my husband, Joe, was first diagnosed with kidney disease, I was confident the doctors would cure him. In three short years, his condition deteriorated to the point he first needed dialysis, then a transplant. Joe's body rejected the new kidney. He needs another transplant.

While waiting for a new transplant, Joe has been admitted to the hospital twice with complications related to kidney failure. During the hospital stays, he has continued to need transfusions. We recently traveled to Johns Hopkins and signed up to participate in a special transplant program, and we are hopeful that Joe will receive a new kidney soon.

I've been a blood donor since the age of eighteen - I never imagined that I would be facing a second organ transplant for my husband. When local blood donors like you donate at CBCC, you're helping my husband and families like ours. Joe, our two young sons, and I thank you for giving blood and giving us hope.

View this video

Patient update

On June 14, 2011, Joe received a second kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital through a kidney "swap" with another couple. Amy, Joe's wife, donated a kidney to a woman, and the woman's husband gave a kidney to Joe. The couples didn't meet until after the transplant and now consider each other family.

Joe is doing well and is very thankful for those who are willing to give the gift of life through both blood and organ donation.
Joe Clipston and Family
Tyler

Tyler
Gastonia, NC

She entered the world at 26 weeks, weighing only 1 pound, 11 ounces. Her young lungs were underdeveloped and her white cell count was dangerously low. It was touch and go for weeks while Tyler received blood transfusions.
Mom, Dad and the hospital staff breathed a sigh of relief as her condition stabilized.

Thanks to local blood donors like you, Tyler went home to her family after 10 weeks and 3 blood transfusions, still weighing just 4 pounds 7.5 ounces. It was your blood donation with CBCC that saved Tyler¹s life.

Josh and Jenice
Charlotte, NC

It all started when Josh hurt his leg. Tests discovered a hematoma in his injured leg, and then we received the shocking news that my brother had Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia(CML). Can you imagine how the news hit my family and me?

Josh's white blood cells began rapidly reproducing abnormal cells in the bone marrow and crowding out the healthy cells. After months of treatment and a short-lived period of remission, Josh's condition worsened. He went into blast crisis. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, receiving daily blood transfusions, lying near death for what seemed an eternity. His life depended on a bone marrow transplant. I turned out to be a matching donor. We thank God the transplant was a success.

Oftentimes transplant patients, like Josh, can need up to 120 units of platelets and red blood cells from more than 20 people to stay alive. I'm glad I could share my bone marrow with him, but I'm even happier that there were so many thoughtful people who donated platelets and red blood cells through CBCC.

It is with a great deal of sadness that we share the news of Josh's death. The memory of his courage, optimism and gentle grace in the face of such a daunting challenge serves as a positive example for all who knew him. We wish to thank all those who donated platelets and red blood cells through CBCC during his treatment.

Josh and Jenice
Doris

Doris
Stanley, NC

At 19, I started donating blood. It was so easy. I gave about 3 gallons never thinking that some day I'd need it. Well, that all changed in January of 1988, when the doctor told me I had breast cancer.

Over the next four years, I had 12 surgeries, including a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. I needed a lot of blood during those operations. I didn't cry when I was diagnosed with cancer, but I did when I was told I couldn't donate anymore. Giving and receiving blood has been such an important part of my life.

In 2007 my doctor told me my aortic valve was failing, and I had surgery to replace it with one from a pig. During the surgery, I needed 3 units of red blood cells, 2 units of plasma and a unit of platelets. Thanks to my doctor and blood from CBCC, I'm here with my family enjoying life each day, one day at a time.

View this video

Christie
Charlotte, NC

While I was holding my son, Cohen, after a long and painful labor, I began to feel faint. No one knew I was bleeding internally.

The nurses snatched Cohen from my arms as I struggled to live. I lost nearly 50% of my blood before the doctors were able to stop the bleeding.

My life had been hanging by a thread. Only the quick actions by the medical team and many units of blood saved my life.

I'm grateful to all the people who donated blood to CBCC. Without the donations, I would never have held my son again.

Christie
Kate

Kate
Charlotte, NC

I'm Kate. When I was three, I was very sick. I didn't want to play with my friends. All I wanted to do was stay in bed. It hurt.

Doctors said I had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, big scary words for a little girl.

My cancer has stopped growing now, but I still need chemotherapy. That medicine has saved my life, but it's very hard on me. I need lots of platelets to help my blood clot and keep me from being so tired after the treatments.

People I don't even know donated blood to help save my life. Were you one?

Thank you.

Katey
Kershaw, SC

Our world turned upside down on October 2, 2006 when our precious daughter, Katey, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The only thing we could cling to was hope.

Katey went through several rounds of chemotherapy. Her red blood cell and platelet count dropped dangerously low because of the intensive treatments. Her protein levels plummeted.

At the hospital, she received whole blood, platelets and plasma collected by the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. If you donated blood through CBCC, you saved our daughter's life.

After many months, Katey is in remission. This could have been an unhappy story if it weren't for people who donated blood. Thank you.

Katey
AJ, Amanda and Family

AJ, Amanda and Family
Huntersville, NC

AJ, our 12-year old, and five-year old Amanda both have sickle cell anemia. This disease affects the oxygen-carrying capabilities of the blood, which deprives the body's tissues and organs of the oxygen they need to stay healthy.

AJ's health is improving although he still tires easily. He doesn't need transfusions as often as he did when he was younger. Amanda is another story. In December of 2006, Amanda suffered a stroke. The disease was more serious than first thought. Amanda is recovering, but now needs a complete blood transfusion once a month. She'll probably
need to continue the transfusions for several years.

Our family remains strong through prayer and support from generous people that donate to CBCC. None of the volunteer donors knows AJ or Amanda, but these amazing people are helping keep our children alive.

Thank you for making a small sacrifice of time to give more time to our children.

View this video

Adrian
Charlotte, NC

I couldn't believe that on Thanksgiving Day, Adrian would rather lie on the couch than eat turkey. It was flu season and we thought Adrian had just caught a bug. As a precaution, we went to the hospital.

Tests at the hospital showed that his blood counts were critically low. The doctors admitted Adrian and immediately ordered a blood and platelet transfusion. Their diagnosis was devastating news. Adrian suffered from aplastic anemia -- which means his bone marrow had stopped working. Bone marrow is vital to the production of new blood cells.

Since that fateful day, Adrian has had six blood transfusions, thirteen platelet transfusions and a major surgery. He takes 14 pills a day. He can't go to school. But every day he looks at me and says, "Mama, everything is going be all right."

Adrian still needs blood products donated by people in the community. If you make a donation to CBCC or sponsor a blood drive, you're helping my son and hundreds of others like him.

'Thank you' seems so inadequate, but thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Adrian
Madison

Madison
Waxhaw, NC

Only 16 hours after birth, Madison - a seemingly perfectly healthy newborn, began losing excessive amounts of blood. Doctors discovered a ruptured blood vessel close to a major artery in her stomach that was seriously threatening her life.

The perfectly orchestrated surgical procedure that saved Maddi's life would not have been possible without community blood donors, who donated the blood that kept Madison alive for 24 hours and 8 transfusions until she could be diagnosed and treated. The unassuming people out there that rolled up their sleeves are no less heroes than the team of nurses, specialists and physicians that treated her.

Patient update

Patient update

Thanks to local blood donors like you, Madison is now a happy and healthy 5 year old! She loves playing soccer and and enjoys tennis and golf. One of her favorite things though, is spending time with her sisters Hailey, Karlie and Macie.