Cancer patient says blood donations are her saving grace

Cancer patient says blood donations are her saving grace

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Fifty-four-year-old Ramona Grable, of Hattiesburg worked many hours at a financial firm for three years. In 2014, she said she started having trouble doing simple things like walking the short distance from her desk to her boss' office.

"I couldn't breathe," Grable said. "It felt like somebody pushing in on my chest. It was pain."

At that time, Grable said she remembered being bloated to the point where she said she looked nine months pregnant. Still, Grable said she was not convinced something was wrong because five years ago, she was diagnosed with Endometriosis and had a hysterectomy. As a result, Grable said she received frequent checkups where doctors never found anything wrong.

Grable said that changed a few months ago.

"Then we went through a series of tests, had some exploratory surgery and that was when the cancer was found," Grable said.

She said she was diagnosed with ovarion cancer. Since then, Grable said her treatments with chemotherapy have been what is saving her life, but are also the cause of her bad days. Grable said the negative effects of chemo cause her to depend on blood transfusions.

"Several times that I was anemic, and twice I needed a blood transfusion and that will replenish the oxygen in your blood," Grable said.

Doctor of Hematology Oncology at Hattiesburg Clinic, Dr. Bo Hrom, said about one in three patients on chemotherapy will require a blood transfusion or platelet transfusion.

"If they are severely anemic, you're very weak and fatigued, you are barely able to get out of bed. I have seen patients who are bed bound, and then received blood and are able to walk and take care of themselves," Hrom said.

Grable encourages the public to get out and donate blood. She had this message for those who said they are afraid to give blood.

"I had several friends who came to my blood drive that had never given before and one of them said, 'Is that it?' So, she was scared to death. She brought a friend to hold her hand, literally, and afterwards, after the stick she said, 'That's it?'"

Grable said it is just one stick and you are done. If anyone wants to support Grable, or anyone who needs blood, come join team Hattiesburg at the C-Spire location at Cloverleaf Mall in on Highway 49, Tuesday, July 28 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Give blood, because you may be saving someone's life.