Blood drive to help child with severe anemia
By Chris Bavender
When Kane Lamberson was born, he was given 12 to 36 hours to live.
That was four years ago.
“He was the biggest baby weighing the most at six pounds but the sickest,” said his mother, Liz Lamberson. “He wasn’t breathing on his own initially, he was very pale and had what the doctors in the NICU called blueberry muffin rash – blue dots all over his body. His liver and spleen were enlarged and his bilirubin kept spiking.”
It wasn’t until Kane was 18 months old that he was finally diagnosed with Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia Type I – or severe anemia. It’s a genetic blood disease that causes many problems – including a buildup of iron – which can lead to a number of life-threatening conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic liver disease.
In order to survive and thrive, Kane receives blood transfusions every six weeks at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.
“He is really good at training his body – he can adjust to when his blood count is low,” Liz Lamberson said. “Right after he gets a transfusion and we get home he is a ball of energy, like a normal 4-year-old should be. It is awesome to see that. When his count gets low he is laying down a lot, very relaxed and not too active. But, after it’s all ‘Let’s go play, I have the energy, let’s do it.’”
But the continued need for blood means a continued need for donors. From the time the family found out Kane – who is O+ – needed the transfusions to live, they have helped organize blood drives, first in their former home state of Missouri and now in Indiana.
“We did one or two there and when we moved here it kind of got put on the back burner because we were trying to find the right doctor for him and the right path to go down,” Liz Lamberson said. “Then I met Jen (Barrett) at the Blood Center and we had a drive.”
Now the family is again teaming up with the Blood Center for a second blood drive from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at the Carmel and Fishers Blood Centers.
“There isn’t a substitute for blood, and blood is life – that is our motto and that is our mission,” Barrett, a donor specialist, said. “We need to keep a strong, healthy supply of blood at all times, for Kane and for those going through hospital emergencies, chemo – all sorts of trauma. There always has to be healthy supply of blood walking through the doors and going to mobiles. We are very proud to be part of this drive. Kane is just one example of why we do what we do.”
It’s something that means the world to the Lamberson family.
“The donations won’t go directly to him but there are other kids who need blood to live just like Kane does so this helps so there isn’t a blood shortage so a child doesn’t have to go without blood if they need it,” Liz said. “If there ever is a time where people didn’t donate blood our child could possibly die from that and I never want to have to think about that happening or put any other parent through that.”
For more information visit www.indianablood.org