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For Alex's sake: give blood

Published on August 18, 2017

The Cornwall Community Hospital's new local pediatrician, Dr. Greemberg managed to properly diagnose 3-year-old Alex so he can get proper treatment.

CORNWALL, Ontario - At 9 months old, Alex started getting sick with asthma flare ups, like some babies do. 

However, after a long recovery and a string of infections, mother, Lianne Lapierre began to suspect that there might be something wrong. At the young age of 3 years old, Alex has been hospitalized 16 times.

"I went from specialist to specialist and would get answers like 'he’s just unlucky or 'kids get sick all the time'," said Lapierre. "It’s only when we saw Dr. Greemberg, a new local pediatrician at Cornwall Hospital who has a background in immunology that we started to get answers.”

Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (PI) are a group of more than 300 rare, chronic disorders in which part of the body's immune system is missing or functions improperly. Immunoglobulin is part of your blood’s plasma, which has antibodies to fight germs or disease - which Alex always had a hard time doing.

When people donate blood, this part can be separated out; liquid immunoglobulin is taken from the blood plasma of donors. The treatment for immunodeficiency can be a plasma transfusion. For 4 months now, every 3 to 4 weeks, Alex has been receiving plasma transfusions in Montreal, under the supervision of a peadiatric immunologist.

“He’s been doing so much better," said Lapierre. "Only 1 hospitalization since he started these treatments."

The next local blood drive is at the Cornwall Ramada Inn on September 5th. Donations towards causes like Alex’s can be made by using Partner for Life ID: PLAS792979 or use #IVIGforalex when posting to social media to raise awareness for the cause.

“I have had amazing care from the Emergency Department nurses and physicians as well as Dr. Kirtsman here at CCH," said Lapierre. "They have all been angels in saving Alex so many times!”