“Your battle is my battle.” Two months ago, Bonnie Campbell had this phrase, along with her son Gavin’s name, tattooed onto her right shoulder. “The whole time, when I started to feel scared or pain, I reminded myself everything Gavin’s going through and fighting through.”
Gavin’s battle with Ewing’s sarcoma began late last year, and the 14-year-old is currently undergoing a grueling regimen of chemotherapy and radiation.
His journey has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, with fevers, stomach pains and mouth sores among the side effects he’s had to contend with. Recently, his platelet count was down to 13 (normal is between 150,000 and 450,000), which resulted in one of several blood and platelet transfusions Gavin has needed so far.
“When we first heard he had to get blood it was a little scary because we didn’t think about that part. We’d already been going through so much with Gavin,” says Bonnie.
Gavin was freaked out, too. “I’m not drinking blood” was his reaction. Even after the transfusion procedure was explained, Gavin worried about having a stranger’s blood in his body. But the immediate effects of the blood and platelet transfusions are undeniable.
“You see such a difference in them once they get blood. They are down and feeling defeated and then a few hours after they get the blood they perk up and it’s completely different,” explains Bonnie.
“Within just a couple hours you get your child back – the happy, spunky child we’re used to seeing. They’re almost out of hope and that just puts the hope right back in them.”