A Donor's Story: Justine

Aug 1, 2023 | Cameron Smith | @cameronsmith

It is difficult to process any loss, especially the loss of a child. “He had fire red hair and it was curly. He had these bright blue eyes, and he was chunky. He was almost 10 lbs. when he was born, so he was a very big boy,” says Justine as she reminisces about her time with Oliver. Oliver, Justine’s son, was just 18 months old when he lost his fight to WWOX, an extremely rare recessive mutation of the WWOX gene. Although his time with us was short, Oliver made a big impact. “Everyone that met him was in love with his little personality, and he taught a lot of people a lot of lessons without even saying a word,” Justine said.

Justine and her family continue Oliver’s legacy through blood donation. With each pint given their family is saving the lives of those facing tragedies within our community every day. Like Oliver, they are making a big impact in someone’s life without ever saying a word. “We know the amount of time that we sat in a hospital getting the care that we need for our son, so we felt we needed to find a way to pay it forward,” Justine said. “We were already at the hospital and there are so many people who need blood.”

Justine, along with her husband, mother, sister, and grandfather, all walked in to donate blood together during one of many hospital trips. They chose to donate to honor a boy who could charm his way into hearts using a personality that was as fiery and bright as his hair. Justine says, “Donating blood is so easy to do, and it is a way for us to pay it forward and give back to our community.”

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Blood Donor Program blog.

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