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James

“People lend me their immune systems when they give plasma.” Quote from James, a plasma donation recipient.

Now that I get plasma treatments, I’m sick a lot less and am rarely in the hospital. It's really just wonderful that people donate and it's really necessary in the world.

I almost died a couple of times

I was frequently admitted to the hospital and almost died a few times. Minor illnesses would make me really sick, like the time I had swelling of my epiglottis because I caught para flu on vacation. This swelling blocked my airway and I had to be intubated and sedated for days. Being sick so much was terrible.

A few years ago, I had surgery to remove ear tumors from a secondary disease, and after it, a major infection developed very close to my brain. My doctor said that almost never happens. He knew something else must be going on and tested me for an immune deficiency. That’s when we found out I have primary immunodeficiency.

Plasma therapy was life-changing

After my diagnosis, I started getting plasma therapy. Now, I have more energy. I’m able to really participate in life and I can hang out with my friends. I’m sick a lot less and am very rarely in the hospital. And although I missed almost half the school year, just before I was diagnosed, now I can make most of my classes. I’m at the top of my class and a straight-A student. Recently, I discovered my love for riding mountain bikes. I still get tired and sometimes I still struggle, but I’m almost as healthy as anyone else now.

I’ll always need plasma

There’s no cure for my disease, so I will probably need a plasma infusion every week for the rest of my life. That makes me very dependent on people who donate. I want them to know they’re making a real difference in the world—for me and for a lot of others.