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Friday August 4th, 2017

Posted at 8:30am

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A planned Windsor blood drive will remember and honour two brothers.

In June 2007 Kristopher and Lisa Roehler gave birth to their son Christian, a seemingly healthy baby boy. In 2010 she gave birth to a baby girl Emilia  and another son Lukas in 2011 and once more in 2014, their youngest son Maximilian was born.

A few months after Christian’s birth, the family noticed some small bruising all over his body that didn’t seem right as first time parents. After many trips to the doctor, countless blood tests and many stays in hospital over many months, it was found that Christian suffered from a very rare immune deficiency disorder.

The bruising on Christian’s head was caused by a very low platelet count, the part of the blood that allows for clotting to prevent bleeding internally and externally. The immune disorder which Christian suffered from was called Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome or WAS. It is extremely rare with only five diagnosis in Canada each year. Although Christian didn’t look sick to anyone who met him, he desperately required a bone marrow transplant to save his life.

Christian has a perfect six out of six stem cell donor match. Christian started out very well and after intense rounds of chemotherapy his body accepted this newly transplanted marrow much sooner than expected. This is where things took a turn for the worst, and on September 2nd, 2008 just shy of 15 months or age, Christian passed away.

His transplant did not turn out for the best, but with that in mind, Christian still had that chance at life because many individuals made an unselfish decision to donate blood.

The family welcomed their third child, Lukas, in 2011. When similar symptoms began to appear with Lukas as they did with Christian, the family found out that Lukas would require a life saving stem cell transplant at the tender age of three months old also.

Lukas is currently doing extremely well, and no longer cries for his needle pokes and demonstrates his strength with a huge grin and playful nature with his doctors and nurses.

Christian and Lukas are heroes to the family, and they would be honoured to share the memory of Lukas, with an in-honour event for Christian at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on Tuesday, August 8th from 3pm to 7pm.

To discover all the ways you can Give Life and to book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app or visit blood.ca.

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