The Gift of Life for Lily

Published April 27, 2021 by SMBC

?Donate Blood. Save a Life.?

?Be a Hero.?

?One pint can save 3 lives.?

?Give blood. Give life.?

These all seemed like trite sayings we have always heard.

Until our daughter, Lily Gribble, was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on January 6, 2021.

We had no idea what was ahead for our family, but each week we quickly learned our daughter's life depends on regular blood transfusions.

It is not ?just a saying?. It is our reality. If Lily does not get regular blood transfusions, sometimes more than four blood transfusions each week, she would not be with us today. Each blood transfusion takes hours to receive. And every time we receive a transfusion, we say ?thank you? to the blood donor and pray for Lily's complete healing. In 11 weeks, Lily has received nearly 30 blood transfusions to give her the gift of life.

Giving blood is truly life changing.

While we wish we had a ?happy ending? to this story for you, the truth is we are right in the middle of this chapter. Lily is scheduled to receive her bone marrow transplant on May 21, 2021. What does this look like for her? She will be admitted to Texas Children's Hospital 8 days before for intense chemotherapy and twice a day radiation. Then on Lily's ?re-birth day? her brother, Ty, will donate his bone marrow to his sister. Lily will live at TCH in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit for approximately the next 6-8 weeks as her old, diseased bone marrow dissipates and her brother's new, healthy bone marrow takes over her body.

This process is not easy, and it is unscripted. But, we do know that her body will continue to need blood transfusions. Not only while she is in the hospital after the transplant, but also for the months ahead after her bone marrow transplant.

We are blood donors and we know it takes an effort to make our donations every two months. Sometimes it is not convenient to give blood. Sometimes we don't feel 100% after a donation. Sometimes our iron is too low to donate. But, EVERY time we donate blood now, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. We are so incredibly grateful for each and every donor who takes time in their lives to make a difference to each of the recipients. Thank you.

When you donate blood in the next few weeks, please say a prayer for Lily. Pray that each transfusion she receives gives her life. Pray that each blood donation gives her a reason to fight this awful disease. Pray that her blood transfusions give us all hope for healing and for Lily's future.

We are humbled by each and every blood donation. Thank you. Thank you for truly giving the gift of life to our daughter. Always Hope. Lean into Faith. Feel the Love. #TeamLily

Mark & Jennifer Gribble