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How Blood and Platelet Donations Helped Arthur Battle Leukemia

The Red Cross has an Emergency Need for Blood and Platelets – Donations that are Crucial for Patients like Arthur

Arthur Bourget, Real Heroes Blood Services Award recipient, with his daughter Emma and wife Sandy

 “The second time I went through a blood transfusion, the nurse came and I’ll never forget it, she said, ‘Arthur, I’m sorry, but we don’t have the blood that you need today. We are working on it and will try to get it as soon as possible.’ It took almost eight hours for me to actually receive the blood transfusion that I needed on that day.”

         – Arthur Bourget

The battle often begins with a phone call that no one ever wants to receive. After experiencing extreme fatigue and fever, Arthur Bourget of West Gardiner, Maine, went to the hospital for tests. When he received the dreaded news, he instantly resolved to fight with all his strength.

“I get a call from my doctor. He asked me to put my wife on the phone with me and he explained to us that he had no other better way of telling me this, but that it appeared I had leukemia,” said Arthur. “I looked at my wife at that exact second and I told her, I said, ‘I’m going to fight this to the end. Leukemia is not going to kill me.’ And I put it in my mind at that point that leukemia was not going to kill me.”

Arthur began chemotherapy immediately. Between July 2007 and December 2009, he was hospitalized for more than 150 days and received 28 blood and 34 platelet transfusions as part of his treatment. Even as a former blood donor himself, the importance of maintaining a well-stocked blood supply to assist patients in hospitals across the country really hit home for Arthur.

“I had committed to my wife that I was going to beat leukemia no matter what, and I was going to do that, but what I wasn’t going to be able to do was survive without the blood that I needed.”

Arthur greatly appreciates those who step up to donate the gift of life, providing vital help to patients bravely facing cancer and other illnesses.

“If it wasn’t for the generosity of volunteer blood donors, I would not be here today,” said Arthur. “My daughter would not have a father, and my wife would not have a husband. Thank you and please give blood. You may never know the life you have saved, but I guarantee they will never forget you.”

Today, Arthur is in remission. He is a faithful advocate for blood donations and was awarded the 2017 Real Heroes Blood Services Award by the Red Cross Maine Chapter for his efforts.

Blood and platelet donations are urgently needed – to schedule an appointment to donate, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767.)

Donate with the Red Cross through August 31, 2017, and we’ll email you a $5 Target eGiftCard™ as an extra thank you for making blood donation a priority.*

Learn more about blood and platelet donation eligibility on redcrossblood.org.

* Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at redcrossblood.org/summer. The Bullseye Design, Target and Target GiftCard are registered trademarks of Target Brands, Inc. Terms and conditions are applied to gift cards. Target is not a participating partner in or sponsor of this offer.