BLOOD DONORS - The Robichaud family have benefited greatly from blood transfusions and encourage Central Albertans to get out and donate in 2018. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Blood donors help save six-year-old Brielle Robichaud’s life

Family encourages Central Albertans to donate blood in 2018

Red Deerian Brielle Robichaud, six, was diagnosed with a brain tumor (pilomyxoid astrocytoma) when she was just three-years-old.

Trish and Nick Robichaud, her parents, were also quickly informed that the tumor required immediate surgery.

“The first surgery they did was the first day we went to the hospital,” Trish said. “We didn’t know how sick she was and they ended up doing a six-hour surgery on her brain. She could have bled to death and she required two blood transfusions that one day.”

Following the first surgery, Brielle has needed five more surgeries and 19 months of chemotherapy — all which required numerous blood transfusions.

“It was successful at maintaining the size of the tumor, but it would really take a toll on her body and her platelets would get really low. She would be very pale, would bruise easily, and as was really tired,” Trish said. “We would take her for a blood transfusion and then instantly the colour would come back to her cheeks, her energy would come back and she would feel way, way better.”

She added that blood transfusions are absolutely essential for kids who have tumors or cancer, especially since they allow for chemotherapy

“Brielle has had seven transfusions to date,” she said. “She has had transfusions of blood and also just platelets separately, which is something I feel is really neat. With a blood donation, they actually split it up and can benefit three different people. It is neat to see the amazing transformation in her body.”

Brielle finished chemotherapy in August 2017, which has allowed the Robichaud’s to do things like enjoy an evening at the Red Deer Rebels game as a family. Prior to the puck drop on Jan.3rd against the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Robichaud’s took time to encourage Central Albertans to donate during the Rebels vs. Hurricanes Give Life Blood Donor Challenge.

The friendly competition encourages residents in Red Deer and Lethbridge to book an appointment to donate blood. Last year, the Hurricanes were able to gather more appointments in Lethbridge, so Red Deer Canadian Blood Services are hoping to bring in more in 2018.

“They asked us tonight if we wanted to come and we are honoured to come,” Trish said. “We have benefitted so much from blood transfusions. We have had so many of our friends and family become first-time donors because of Brielle’s journey. It saves lives.”

Shaun Richer, territory manager for Canadian Blood Services, said the need is great for blood donors.

“We are always trying to encourage new donors to come and donate because the need for hospital patients is always there. If a new donor comes in today, hopefully they will come back in and see us again,” he said.

Forging partnerships is important for helping spread the word about the need for donors, according to Richer.

“With the help of the Rebels, we are hoping that not only can we reach our target, but hopefully we can also beat the Hurricanes because they beat us last year,” he said. “The biggest thing is to book an appointment. You can do it online at blood.ca, you can download our Give Blood App or even easier you can phone our toll-free number 1-888-2-Donate.”

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Lacombe Generals to host 2019 Allan Cup

The Allan Cup was last hosted in Alberta in 2013 in Red Deer

Rogers Hometown Hockey lands in Lacombe Feb. 3rd and 4th

The weekend will feature broadcast hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, meet-and-greets with NHL alumni and activities for the whole family

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

UPDATE/WATCH: Jason Klaus and Josh Frank guilty in triple murder

Crown argues for 75 years to life in prison, sentencing on Jan. 22nd

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read