“You never think something like this will happen to your child until it does, and with it, your world and your child’s world changes forever.” – Danielle, mother and patient advocate
Danielle describes her son, Isaiah, as the nicest boy in the world. She says he is kind and creative, but most importantly, he’s a warrior.
Isaiah has been sick since he was two. For years, he gained little weight and his doctors were without answers. Danielle did all she could to connect him with the right specialists and treatments, but nothing remedied his condition. It wasn’t until blood work revealed Isaiah had a rare form of Systemic Sclerosis and started receiving immunoglobulin infusion therapy (IVIG) with plasma, that he saw some improvement in his condition. With a treatment plan in place, everything seemed to be looking up, until one day the future supply of Isaiah’s infusions was not guaranteed.
Since 2020, U.S. plasma collections have fallen drastically – to the point of crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is chiefly responsible for the decline. Today, thousands of patients who depend on plasma for their life-saving therapies continue to feel the strain.
Due to the plasma shortage, Isaiah went three months without receiving any therapy and became very sick. Frustrated, scared, and desperate for a solution, Danielle organized a plasma drive in her hometown to shed light on the plasma shortage and encourage donations. More than 50 people showed up in support of Isaiah and the thousands of other patients worried about the future of their next treatment.
“Donating plasma saves lives,” Danielle said. “Your donation helps a child like mine live a normal and happy life.”
Educating others on the importance of plasma donation is ingrained into Danielle’s family. So much so that Isaiah ’s aunt now works at an Octapharma Plasma donation center, and his stepdad, Larry, donates twice per week. Isaiah even used some of his creative skills to design some artwork for his local donation center.
For some, the plasma shortage may seem like an abstract phenomenon. For Isaiah and countless other patients like him, the plasma shortage is tangible, pervasive, and in some cases, deadly. As Danielle continues to encourage her community to donate, she reflects, “Do whatever you can. You never think something like this will happen to your child until it does, and with it, your world and your child’s world changes forever.”
To learn about donation centers local to you, click here.