Kira Hall loves to dress up as a princess, recently welcomed a baby brother, and just had her third birthday in August, things not possible if there had not been blood transfusions available during her leukemia treatments.
“I know it took at least 10 transfusions,” said her mom, Meaghan.
As a psychiatric nurse, the Langley woman understood the value of blood donations but never realized just how much is needed for various conditions.
“The volume of blood that’s required for [BC] Children’s Hospital oncology is staggering,” Meaghan said.
People are familiar with car crash victims but there’s also cancer treatments and many conditions that need blood constituents.
The family will never meet the people who provided the blood and blood products Kira needed to live.
“They’re your heroes,” Meaghan said of donors.
Kira’s parents, Meaghan and Curtis, a Maple Ridge RCMP officer, are now vocal advocates of blood donation and are hosting a special Canadian Blood Services donor clinic Sept. 13 at Blacklock Fine Arts Elementary, 5100 206th St. It runs 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to book an appointment or find out more.
Curtis has been rallying coworkers in Maple Ridge to come and the family is spreading the word to get members of the public out to donate.
Meaghan recently gave birth to her son but is striving to get the all clear from her doctor to donate.
About 50 per cent of Canadians are eligible to donate but only one in 60 eligible donors gave last year.
Kira’s cancer diagnosis came last December, as the family was dealing with the death of Curtis’ mother.
“It was a pretty big emotional toll,” Meaghan said.
They thought Kira had the flu, but doctors said she was seriously ill, requiring blood. Kira was lethargic and “she looked green,” Meaghan said. “You can see a dramatic difference in her appearance.”
The good news is Kira started maintenance in August, takes oral medications each day, and only needs to visit BC Children’s Hospital for active treatment once a month. “She’s a tough little cookie,” her mom said.
(Family photo) Kira Hall loves to dress up like a princess and is right now winning her battle with leukemia.