Aileen Lamb
Posted by
Aileen Lamb

The importance of blood donations

Aileen Lamb
Posted by
Aileen Lamb
19 Jan 2016

It is always good to remember the importance of the people who donate blood and platelets - they are our lifeline.

Since my last post I’ve completed my third round of intensive chemo and spent an unplanned six nights in hospital with an infection which we think was hanging about in my Hickman line.

I’m now in what I call the re-building phase where my body gets back on its feet following the battering of chemo. My blood counts, neutrophils and platelets are all coming back to life and I’m producing my own red & white blood cells and vital blood clotting platelets.

Chemo batters hell out of your body. I’ve been generally extremely lucky in terms of the impacts and side effects. I have however needed the support of blood and platelet donations to help keep my tank topped up when my body was unable to do the job for itself. In just 48 hours from Boxing day I received 5 pints of blood and 2 units of platelets (which came from 8 separate donors). This now takes me over 40 pints of blood since my diagnosis in September.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of those who regularly give blood. Without your gift I would be unable to do my job and work with my team to fight this leukaemia.

There are additional signs that I’m starting to bounce back after chemo. I’m less tired and I find it easier to deal with post-chemo fatigue. And my hair is coming back! I’ve got about an inch of fluffy ‘baby hair’ which seems to be visibility sprouting more every day. As you can imagine there is lots of leg pulling about the likely colour it will eventually be with several smart arses claiming that its definitely looking red!

There is currently a shortage of platelet donors especially for those who are blood group A. The NHS Blood and Transplant service (NHSBT) are currently running a big awareness campaign. If you want to help, and are able to, you can register to become a platelet donor here:


Lizzie Goates

Hi Aileen, 

Very glad to read your starting to feel a bit better after chemo and that your hair is starting to grow back! Looking forward to knowing what colour it turns out to be…

Thank you also for highlighting the important issue of donating blood, for which many other people depend on to stabilise their disease.

I hope you continue to feel better! Keep in touch and take care