Last year, we were amazed by Don Armstrong’s story in our 11 Laws of Life series. This year, we’re excited to welcome Don as a guest blogger so he can continue to share his story as he releases his first book: Finish YOUR Race. Welcome, Don!
On September 14, 2005, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a blood cancer that threatened to end my life. Early in my journey, I learned that fewer than 30 percent of those diagnosed with AML survive beyond five years. I endured five rounds of chemo in eight months and ultimately received a stem cell transplant on May 12, 2006, which would save my life. This was my new “birthday” and my second chance at life. On that day, I became a “survivor.”
When I was diagnosed with leukemia I had no idea how important blood and platelets would be in my cancer journey. My first thoughts about donated blood focused on the critical need for accident victims, surgery or other traumatic incidents. Certainly not a cancer patient! It didn’t take long for this perspective to change.
It was during my first round of chemo that I discovered the role of blood products in my journey. I learned that chemo shuts down the body’s normal process to produce blood. I woke up one morning not feeling well. Blood work showed extremely low red cells, platelets, etc. So low that I passed out. My nurses were quick to tell me I needed blood and platelets. They were right as these infusions gave me a huge physical boost.
Battling cancer was an eye opener for me and taught me a great deal about myself and life in general. My journey was filled with daily uncertainty and challenges. It was also filled with victories which led to an understanding of life lessons and valuable life strategies which changed almost every aspect of my life.
As a result of my journey I wrote Finish YOUR Race to share the extraordinary lessons and strategies learned while my life was on the line. The strategies discovered aren’t just for cancer patients—everyone can use them to empower their lives.
Carter BloodCare was a significant part of my survival story bridging the gap for me when my body would not produce the blood products I required to survive. I am forever grateful for the efforts of Carter BloodCare and blood donors.
To hear more about Don’s journey and to purchase your copy of Finish YOUR Race, visit DonArmstrongLive.com. Help us continue to make an impact for people who need blood transfusions by making an appointment to donate.