Diagnosed with Infantile Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at just seven months, Tanner spent the next two years in-and-out of hospital undergoing chemotherapy to combat the disease.
Chemotherapy does a great job of wiping out leukaemia cells, but kills healthy blood cells in the process.
Blood transfusions are a life-giving reprieve for the body while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Without a ready supply of blood to help his body, Tanner wouldn’t have survived.
Blood donation is one of the easiest ways to help people, and one of the greatest gifts a person can give.
The tiny pinch of a needle may last a couple of seconds. Yet your blood could mean a lifetime to the person who receives it.
His mum, Annie, said it was difficult to express just how grateful she is for those gave blood to help Tanner through his treatment.
“Words can never express how grateful I am to all those unknown people who so selflessly gave their lifesaving gift to my son. Tanner received countless blood transfusions to keep him alive – red cells, platelets and plasma.”
Red cells carry oxygen around the body, plasma is the liquid component, rich in antibodies which help boost the immune system, and platelets help the blood to clot.
Today Tanner is a healthy – and very cheeky – 12-year-old, officially given the all-clear by doctors five years after his treatment.
Annie cites blood donors as one of the reasons why Tanner is still here.
“The doctors and hospitals all play their part, but it was blood donors that gave Tanner the strength to continue fighting. I want to sincerely thank each and every blood donor – they are all heroes and truly do save lives.”
On Friday night, Tanner will be running through the banner for the blockbuster Sydney Swans and Essendon clash alongside his heroes as the Swans Junior Mascot.
Sydney Swans are proudly supporting National Blood Donor Week 2014. To make an appointment to give blood call 13 95 96 or visit donateblood.com.au.