Give for Texans – Amari’s Story

Amari Lemon

Donors needed in battle against childhood cancer

Nearly 10,000 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2023, according to the American Cancer Society.

Three years ago, when she was 14 years old, Carrollton student Amari Lemon was diagnosed with mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL). It is a rare type of acute blood cancer in which leukemia cells present with both myeloid and lymphocytic features. Its symptoms include anemia, bruising, bone and joint pain, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.

For Amari and others undergoing rigorous cancer treatments, blood and platelet transfusions are essential in fighting the aggressive disease.

Amari shared her story:

“I went to the pediatrician because I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. I was covered in bruises from a very low platelet count and pain in my spleen area so bad I could barely breathe. My doctor sent me to get an X-ray, which showed an enlarged spleen.

They sent me to get blood work done. The next morning, my parents got a call from my doctor saying we needed to come in and talk. She broke the news [of the diagnosis] and sent us to a Dallas medical center. The doctors there took more blood and saw the low levels of hemoglobin and platelets.

By Day 2, I had already gotten transfusions of blood and platelets and continued to get more.

I received both types of transfusions continuously over the next year and a half of intense treatment. I will be forever grateful for those who took the time out of their day to go and give blood and/or platelets.

I am over halfway done with my three-year treatment and I have gotten more transfusions that I can count.

Blood and platelets have helped me so much during my treatment, from curing headaches and tiredness to reducing bloody noses and bruises.

Though I am unable to donate blood, I will always advocate for people to go out and donate.

Your donation might save a life or simply make a cancer patient feel better.”

You can make a lifesaving difference by donating at a Carter BloodCare donor center or mobile blood drive near you. Help patients in need by calling 800-366-2834 today.

Your experience as a Carter BloodCare donor or transfusion recipient can save lives by motivating others to donate. Please share your experience and Tell Us Your Story.