81-Yr-Old Grandpa Who Spent 60 Years Saving 2 Million Unborn Babies’ Lives Gives Back 1 Final Time







An 81-year-old’s lifelong career of saving babies’ lives has come to an end.

For six decades, James Harrison of Australia has donated blood more than 1,100 times. According to the Australian Red Cross, he even earned himself the nickname “the man with the golden arm.”

What makes Harrison’s story so unique is that his blood has a special antibody in it that protects unborn babies from the deadly disease Rhesus D Haemolytic. This condition causes the blood of pregnant women to attack their babies’ blood cells, causing brain damage, heart failure or death.Thankfully, a medication called Anti-D which uses the plasma from donors like Harrison was developed for at-risk mothers. “Every ampule of Anti-D ever made in Australia has James in it,” Robyn Harlow, who recruited Harrison, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s an enormous thing… He has saved millions of babies. I cry just thinking about it.”

Harrison’s blood alone has saved over 2 million unborn babies’ lives.

However, Harrison is no stranger to needing donated blood. At 14, he had to have major chest surgery and required 13 units of blood. Knowing how important it was for him to receive this gift, he decided to begin donating his own blood as soon as he turned 18.

Ten years later, doctors discovered Harrison’s blood was rare and asked if he could donate his plasma. “They asked me to be a guinea pig, and I’ve been donating ever since,” Harrison said.

Sixty years later, Harrison reached the age limit for blood donors in Australia and so it was time for him to retire his “golden arm.” He gave his final donation on May 11. “It’s a sad day for me,” Harrison said. “The end of a long run.”“I hope it’s a record that somebody breaks because it will mean they are dedicated to the cause,” Harrison told the Red Cross.

ALTHOUGH, IF HARRISON COULD HAVE IT HIS WAY HE WOULD KEEP DONATING. “I’D KEEP ON GOING,” HE SAID, “IF THEY’D LET ME.”

“Australia owes a big thank you to James Harrison, Australia became the first country in the world to be self-sufficient in the supply of Anti-D, and cases of HDN are rare,” spokesperson Jemma Falkenmire said. “We encourage the partners and friends of all new mothers to think about donating blood, just one donation helps ensure someone has the chance to be a mother.”

Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Caused by asbestos, mesothelioma has no known cure and has a very poor prognosis.

According to a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control, 2,400 – 2,800 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States each year. People who have worked with or been exposed to asbestos have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. After being exposed to asbestos, mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 – 50 years to appear.

The life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is poor, as there is no cure for the disease. The stage of the disease, cell type, and location of the tumor(s) are the most important factors for a patient’s survival. Factors such as the patient’s overall health, age, and whether the cancer has spread also impact prognosis.

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, there are a number of vital decisions that must be made. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is dedicated to providing patients with the best resources available on current treatment, stories of survival and hope, and financial assistance.
Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is most commonly classified by the location in the body where it develops. Specifically, the cancer forms in the lining of certain organs or spaces within the body, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma typically develops in one of three specific areas.
Diagnosing Mesothelioma Symptoms
Mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 – 50 years to appear after the first exposure to asbestos. The signs of mesothelioma often look like those of other diseases, which can lead to misdiagnosis. When someone exhibits mesothelioma symptoms, doctors perform a variety of tests to rule out other diseases. It normally takes weeks or months for doctors to arrive at an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis.
Upon diagnosis, the doctor will categorize the disease into one of four stages. While there are several staging systems, the TNM System — which stands for tumor, lymph nodes, and metastasis — is the most commonly used.
Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Caused by asbestos, mesothelioma has no known cure and has a very poor prognosis.

According to a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control, 2,400 – 2,800 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States each year. People who have worked with or been exposed to asbestos have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. After being exposed to asbestos, mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 – 50 years to appear.

The life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is poor, as there is no cure for the disease. The stage of the disease, cell type, and location of the tumor(s) are the most important factors for a patient’s survival. Factors such as the patient’s overall health, age, and whether the cancer has spread also impact prognosis.

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, there are a number of vital decisions that must be made. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is dedicated to providing patients with the best resources available on current treatment, stories of survival and hope, and financial assistance.

Mesothelioma Survivorship and Life Expectancy
Prognosis
Prognosis
How a disease will progress. A prognosis can be good or bad, and may include a life expectancy estimate.
MORE Life Expectancy
Life Expectancy
How long a patient can expect to survive. This may change with treatment and other developments.
MORE Survival Rate
Survival Rate
A statistic (percentage or ratio) indicating how many people live a certain amount of time after diagnosis.
MORE
HELP IMPROVE YOUR PROGNOSIS. LEARN MORE.
Heather Von St. James – Mesothelioma Survivor
Watch Heather’s Story
Heather Von St. James is a 12-year pleural mesothelioma survivor who has become a spokeswoman for mesothelioma awareness and a proponent of banning asbestos.

She also works with newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients as a mentor and advocate, helping them understand their treatment and legal options.

Heather offers valuable insights into her successful treatment approach with Dr. David Sugarbaker. She has a unique perspective on life after surviving a mesothelioma diagnosis and enjoys sharing her story. Click here to connect with Heather.

Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families
Request a Free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide
Connect with Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Locate the Nearest Comprehensive Cancer Center
Sign up for Our Mesothelioma Treatment Alert
Speak with a 12-Year Mesothelioma Survivor
Financial Assistance Available to Help with Treatment Costs
Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is most commonly classified by the location in the body where it develops. Specifically, the cancer forms in the lining of certain organs or spaces within the body, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma typically develops in one of three specific areas.

Pleural Mesothelioma
LUNGS
The most common type, pleural mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers.

MORE
Peritoneal Mesothelioma
ABDOMEN
Inhaled or swallowed asbestos fibers can become trapped in the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum).

MORE
Pericardial Mesothelioma
HEART
In rare cases, asbestos fibers can get lodged in the pericardium, the lining around the heart cavity.

MORE
Diagnosing Mesothelioma Symptoms
Mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 – 50 years to appear after the first exposure to asbestos. The signs of mesothelioma often look like those of other diseases, which can lead to misdiagnosis. When someone exhibits mesothelioma symptoms, doctors perform a variety of tests to rule out other diseases. It normally takes weeks or months for doctors to arrive at an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis.

Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Trouble breathing or chest pain.
Effusion (fluid buildup) in the lungs or abdomen.
Anemia (especially in women).
Nausea / vomiting.
Loss of weight.
Upon diagnosis, the doctor will categorize the disease into one of four stages. While there are several staging systems, the TNM System — which stands for tumor, lymph nodes, and metastasis — is the most commonly used.

Four Stages of Mesothelioma
STAGE
1
The mesothelioma tumor is located in only one area and has not spread to other parts of the body.

STAGE
2
A large tumor may have progressed to nearby areas and/or the lymph nodes, but has not gone on any further.

STAGE
3
Tumors have typically spread beyond the local area to several nearby locations and the lymph nodes.

STAGE
4
The tumors have spread into multiple areas and throughout the lymphatic system, invading other organs throughout the body.

Typically, Stage 1 and Stage 2 mesothelioma can be treated effectively with surgery and other forms of therapy. However, Stage 3 and Stage 4 mesothelioma are often treated palliatively.

FREE 2018 MESOTHELIOMA GUIDE AND BOOKS
Treating Mesothelioma
Treatment for mesothelioma is similar to other types of cancer. The most common treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Newer treatments are being studied as part of clinical trials and may be available for some patients who do not respond to conventional therapies.

In some cases, treatment can improve a patient’s prognosis, extending his/her life significantly. Treatment can also be used palliatively to reduce pain and discomfort caused by the symptoms of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Doctors
Mesothelioma Doctors
Finding a mesothelioma doctor and creating a custom treatment plan based on your diagnosis is the most important decision you can make to improve prognosis. Browse our catalog of top mesothelioma doctors around the country.

Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
Mesothelioma Cancer Clinics
Mesothelioma clinics and cancer centers offer patients a way to get the most comprehensive care, using the latest technology and techniques available. Locate the best mesothelioma clinics near you.



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