Donor helps woman make it down aisle

KERRIN Pacey likens the challenge of battling cancer to climbing Mount Everest but the Hervey Bay woman conquered the mountain.

She has just finished radiation and chemotherapy for lung cancer and was able to walk her daughter down the aisle last month thanks to an anonymous blood donor.

“Chemotherapy attacks every cell in the body, including the blood cells,” she said.

“Before the blood transfusion I was disoriented and dizzy and had a rash.

“I had a transfusion a week before the wedding and within two days I was up and around, going for a walk and feeling really fit again.

“Without the blood I wouldn't have been able to handle the travel and the two days of wedding celebrations.

“It was a beautiful, big fat Greek wedding.”

Ms Pacey was diagnosed with lung cancer on October 7 last year.

She had experienced persistent chest and sinus infections for the previous 12 months but the diagnosis was still a shock to the 55-year-old.

In the past year she has undergone treatment at Royal Brisbane and Hervey Bay hospitals.

“The oncology clinic at Hervey Bay couldn't be better,” she said.

“They monitored my blood levels and offered transfusions when I needed it.

“I did feel like a pin-cushion. Every time I had chemotherapy I had blood tests, then there were needles for the actual chemo and more blood tests after.

“I had two full blood transfusions and I had donations of platelets three times.

“The blood was the thing that really got me up and kicking when I got low.”

One year after her diagnosis, her prospects are good and Ms Pacey is looking forward to going back to work as a carer.

Ms Pacey never gave blood before she got sick.

Her mother contracted an illness from a blood transfusion in the 1970s, before screening processes were in place, and died from the illness in 1979.

“It's a big turnaround for me to be so grateful for blood,” she said.

“Transfusions were something that had affected my life in a negative way.

“Now it's so different with the screening they have.

“It's very safe.

“People don't realise there are so many diseases which require blood every week or every month. It's not just for crash victims.

“I'm incredibly grateful to people who give blood.”

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