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Child with leukemia visits blood donors to express his gratitude
A six-year-old boy surprised a group of people with balloons and flowers in the midst of their donations at Canadian Blood Services on Tuesday as a way of thanking all of the donors who have helped him and other patients.
“I have leukemia, also known as blood cancer,” explained Foster Garrison. “People here donate blood for kids who have treatment and who have cancer.”
“It helps them get better so they can stay alive from all the treatment.”
Candace Inkpen, Foster’s mother, says the gesture was a way of expressing their gratitude.
“There’s no real words to express how much this means to us,” said Inkpen. “I am hoping with us just being here and just shaking their hands and saying thank you, I’m hoping that’s enough that they will come back and do it again.”
Foster has undergone 11 blood and platelet transfusions since January of 2016 when he was diagnosed high-risk b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“We didn’t even realize how important blood donation was either until we started our journey,” explained Inkpen. “We didn’t realize that leukemia patients need up to eight donors a week while going through treatment. That’s a lot of people who need to come down here in their free time and spare time.”
“If it wasn’t for organizations like Canadian Blood Services and Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta, this journey would be a lot more tumultuous than it is.”
The six-year-old says he’s had good and bad experiences during his treatment. “It’s kind of fun because the doctors are very nice but it’s also not because sometimes I have to sleep over at the hospital for almost four days.”
Foster’s treatment is scheduled to end in June of 2019. “We’re in it for the long haul and we’re almost at the finish line,” said Inkpen.
For information on donating blood visit Canadian Blood Services
With files from CTV’s Brad MacLeod