A Precious Gamble
Remembering the Legacy and the Life
Precious Gamble was indeed a precious, little girl who needed transfusions every month to prevent strokes brought on by Sickle Cell Disease. “Each transfusion took two to three hours. It was difficult, but I knew her life depended on it,” said Precious’ mom, Priscilla Ketter.
There was something else about Precious that was rare…her blood. As a result of the multiple transfusions, she developed a number of antibodies in her blood that required a donor’s blood to be an exact match. And, very few donors matched. Because Precious was African-American, African-American donors were more likely to match, but African-Americans make up only 10% of the donors.
“I hate to think what would have happened if there weren’t people like those who donated for Precious. But, more are needed. One of her transfusions had to be delayed for four days because a donor wasn’t available to donate. I encourage all minorities to donate to help those like Precious,” said Priscilla. Precious’ family thanks those who were willing to donate.
After two months of fighting, Precious died February 21, 2004 following a stem cell transplant. When she passed away, her mother stated that she had big plans to honor and remember her daughter’s legacy.
The Blood Connection has created sickle cell awareness campaigns for the months of March and September, but reminds African-American donors to learn more, educate others, and donate blood regularly to save lives and help to improve the lives of those that have Sickle Cell Disease.