Young Ethan’s journey

Young Ethan’s journey document.title= “NiagaraThisWeek.com: Article: Young Ethan’s journey”;

Peters family honours lives of deceased daughter, two-year-old-son with blood donor clinic April 12

Ethan Peters is an energetic two-year-old.

One minute he’s sweeping the floor, seconds later he’s bouncing off the couch and into the laps of his sisters, Madison and Sheridan. A few minutes later, Ethan is crouched on top of the kitchen counter as he’s fed strawberries by his father, Jason.

Chances are you’ve seen Ethan’s face before on television as he’s been the poster child for the Sick Kids Foundation’s Family of Heroes campaign.

It is Ethan’s story of survival which has not only given people a new outlook on life, but has also highlighted the importance of saving another’s life through blood donation.

Ethan was born in 2005 with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID), a rare disorder where the body lacks white blood cells which defend the body from infection.

Jason and Lori had already lost one child, Brooklyn, to SCID and were told by doctors that there was a 25 per cent chance any further children they had would have the disease.

While their daughters, Madison and Sheridan were born healthy, Ethan suffered from the disease.

When he was six months old, Ethan underwent six platelet transfusions and three blood transfusions following a bone marrow transplant.

It was the donation of bone marrow and blood from the community which saved his life.

Since the transfusions, Ethan had been on regular medication. He’s been healthy since.

His mother Lori has told Ethan’s story of survival through many media campaigns including Sick Kids Foundation and Canadian Blood Services.

“He smiles every time he see’s his picture. He’s getting used to the media exposure,” Lori said as Ethan rolls up his sleeves, showing his mother how people donate blood. “He’s just being himself.”

“Hi!” Ethan said.

Every year since Ethan’s birth, the Peters family has held a blood donor clinic at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in St. Catharines.

This year’s clinic will take place April 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lori said the support from relatives to spread the word on the importance of giving blood has been tremendous. She said while there will be regular donors, it’d be nice to have new donors.

“My nieces are getting the word out at their high schools, we’d like more young people coming out,” Lori said.

Tammy Maroudas, recruitment coordinator for the Ontario Street clinic, said there’s a constant need for blood.

Maroudas suggested contacting Canadian Blood Services in advance at 1-888-2DONATE to book a spot.

“You can give blood at anytime, not just at this clinic,” she said. “The important thing is you donate.”

The Canadian Blood Services Clinic is located at 395 Ontario Street.

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