Mother credits blood donations to helping her kids beat leukemia



Posted on July 31, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 6:41 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--The KREM Cares blood drive gets underway Thursday and perhaps no one knows the importance of donating blood more than someone who has needed it.

Both of Jenny Cumbie’s daughters survived childhood leukemia. It took years of treatment to get her first daughter cancer-free. Then, less than one year later, her second daughter was diagnosed with the same disease.

Cumbie watched her toddlers be diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Now, she doesn’t take a single day for granted.

“We wake up and look at each other and say, what do we want to do today? Let's go do that,” Cumbie said.

For almost six years, one or both of her girls were tied to the hospital, often getting blood products from the Inland Northwest Blood Center.
“Their bone marrow was almost completely overwhelmed by cancer. So before they could even begin treatment for the disease, they had to get transfusions immediately,” Cumbie said.

Blood donates are a gift that Cumbie says truly changes lives.

“Nothing's harder than having a sick child that doesn't get out of bed.  It's incredibly hard.
I don't have the same blood type as my children; I don’t have the ability to give to them. So, it's really incredible that somebody was thoughtful enough to give that gift,” Cumbie said.

Her daughters often relied on the donations of others to survive.

“To sit there as a parent and watch somebody else's blood go into your child, knowing that blood is going to save their life and make them feel better. You just start wondering who that person was, and what an incredible gift that is,”  Cumbie said.

The Inland Northwest Blood Center says all blood donations are a gift. However, they are especially in need of type O blood which can be used universally on all patients.

Both of Cumbies’ daughters are now in remission and going through life as happy and healthy kids.

“We're out in the world just tearing it up and having a good time. And really thankful to be able to do that,” Cumbie said.

Even though the family no longer needs blood products, they haven’t given up on their push to get others to donate. They’re asking everyone who can, to give and hopefully save another life.