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Release of Likeness

For Rob Veatch, a life-long commitment to blood donation became uniquely personal when given the chance to donate platelets and help save his daughter’s life.

MBC Blood Donor, Rob Veatch

In the life of a typical two-year-old, colds and fevers are often routine and trips to the clinic as frequent as changes in the weather. But for Julia Veatch and her family, when swollen lymph nodes began to appear at the base of her neck and the back of her head, an initial diagnosis of an upper respiratory infection became instead a battle against non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. And over the course of nine-months of intense chemotherapy, Julia’s dad, Rob, was given the chance of a lifetime: to make a direct donation of platelets to help save his daughter’s life.

As Rob recalls, “I’d been a frequent whole blood donor for a while, so I already knew the importance of donated blood. I just never thought it would be my daughter—or any member of my family—whose life I would have the opportunity to save.” But then Rob was approached by a member of the medical staff at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital and Clinics and asked to consider donating platelets.

“During Julia’s course of treatment, there were 5 or 6 times that she needed platelet transfusions after certain regimens of chemotherapy knocked her counts way down,” Rob said. “And in addition to my own donations, there were many generous donors who also gave what Julia needed and helped her bounce back. My family owes a huge debt of thanks to those life-saving donors!”

Today Julia is a bright, beautiful, and talented teenager—involved in a variety of activities, a member of the National Honor Society, and planning ahead for college. “We’ve been blessed by Julia’s perseverance and the truly amazing care she received. We’re very happy to say that her cancer was said to have been ‘cured’ after five years without a recurrence.”

“Dealing with a life-threatening illness is difficult no matter what the circumstances,” Rob added. “But being able to give something so extraordinary for my daughter, like my platelets, was remarkable. I now am a regular platelet donor and encourage everyone to consider the life-saving difference they can make. Besides the milk and cookies, why not take the time to do something so simple that means so much to someone in need?” Find out more about how you can help save the lives of infants, children, and adults through blood donation.

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