Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Thankful for donors

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Shaw family has lived the effects of blood donation

Alan and Yvette Shaw have seen the effect that donating blood does to save a life.

Their youngest of three sons, Coleson, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA), as an infant.

As a result of generous blood donations and a bone marrow transplant, Coleson will celebrate his 12th birthday on April 21.

The Shaws life changed when Coleson was just an infant, however their faith kept their family strong.

"When he was born at Minden Medical, he needed a transfusion because he had a low hemoglobin count. They sent him to Schumpert to transfuse him," Yvette said.

"Then when we went for his well-baby at two months old, Dr. Elizabeth Phillips did a blood test and saw that his hemoglobin was back down to nothing. We drove back over to Schumpert, they saw that he wasn't making red blood cells and knew that it could only be three things, and one of them was Diamond Blackfan Anemia. From then on, he was transfused every month until he was six years old," Yvette continued.

When he was first diagnosed, a transplant was not an option; only 10 percent lived explained Yvette. As research progressed, they found that if the match was a sibling, then the survival rate went to 93 percent.

When Cade came back as a match for Coleson, Yvette and Alan said to Cade, "When God created you, He created inside of you everything that was needed for Coleson, so before Coleson was ever born, you already had everything needed for him to be healthy." Cade was excited to be his little brother's hero.

At six years old, in July 2007, Coleson had a bone marrow transplant.

Coleson was in the hospital for 45 days after the transfusion, and they had a rough time between infections.

"Coleson was the bravest kid. He is just amazing," Yvette said.

Approximately nine months after the transfusion, Coleson was better.

"We put out a plea when he was in the hospital for everyone to pray for us and send a post card. We got postcards from everywhere," Yvette said.

Yvette stressed how blessed their family is and how much they prayed for Coleson's recovery.

Coleson has just recently been diagnosed with Scoliosis in December 2012. He has to wear a brace for his back 18 hours of the day. Other than that, Coleson is a healthy, growing boy.

Give Blood, Save a Life! Lifeshare will be at the Minden Civic Center, Wednesday, March 20, from noon until 6 p.m. for a Community Blood Drive.

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