Blood donor recipient meets people who saved her life

KANSS CITY, Missouri - When donors give blood they don’t know who their gift will go to.

That’s why Wednesday’s meeting at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City with a blood donor recipient and several people who saved her life was a rare experience.

Allen Troyer, one of the blood donors said, “I didn't really come to grasp what magnificent things my platelets and blood has been able to do for people [until today].”

Troyer and several others met the recipient of their donation, Sheeba Kersten.

Doctors diagnosed Sheeba with rapid and deadly leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells.

They told her she had four weeks to live.

Blood donors helped keep Sheeba alive and she continues to beat the odds.

Kent Kersten, Sheeba’s husband said, “Her doctors and nurses told me that if she could make it to day 100 the odds of her surviving would be greatly improved. Shortly after Christmas of 2008 my wife made it to day 100.”

Sheeba not only shattered the previous record for survival by an African American patient with leukemia, every day she wakes up she sets a new record.

“In a day and age like this, sometimes you feel so alone. You don't think that anyone cares but when something like this happens and you see the light of so many good people, it gives you hope that this life is worth living for” she said.

Doctors also told Sheeba she would never be able to give birth to a child.

Seven months after her diagnosis she became pregnant with a girl who she named Ava.

Ava was born July 22nd weighing only 15 ounces.

She is now two-years-old and when Ava gets a little older, her mother has quite a story to tell her.

“I'll just have to remind her of how special she is and how she came into the world. And how the both of us have purpose, we are vessels to give hope to others” said Sheeba.

Sheeba still has a big battle ahead of her.

She had a bone marrow transplant and continues to undergo treatment but she wouldn’t be alive today without blood donors.

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