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I Received Blood

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Liam

Liam's Story

Auckland

Two years ago, 15 year old Liam Fisher thought he'd just hurt his leg skateboarding. However when the injury, didn't go away an x-ray, after a trip to a physiotherapist, revealed osteosarcoma a type of cancer that starts in the bone.

Since then, Liam has undergone a human bone transplant in his tibia (shin bone) and has been given a titanium artificial knee. He has also had 6 rounds of intensive chemotherapy and needed blood transfusions as his body stopped making its own blood cells for a time.

Eight units of red blood cells and four units of platelets were vital in helping Liam along his road to recovery. These donations were given by almost 30 donors from around New Zealand.

As a way of thanking blood donors, Liam decided to pay it forward by organising a blood drive with New Zealand Blood Service at his high school, Selwyn College, to encourage fellow students and staff to donate blood.

"I am done with needing blood but there are lots of kids who are worse off than me who are going through treatment and need transfusions," said Liam.

"Donating blood is a cool way students can help others and support people like me. It is a way to help because most of my friends felt too awkward to come and see me when I was really sick."

Liams kind gesture paid off, when he managed to get 66 staff and students to go along to the school gym to give blood, including 40 people who were first-time donors.

Blood transfusions are an important part of many cancer patients' treatment. Over 26% of all red blood cells from donated blood are used for treatment of cancer patients.

My friends thought that most donated blood was used for accident victims but that is definitely not the case."

Approximately 42,000 people every year need blood or blood products and it's important that today's teens are encouraged to become tomorrow's active donors.