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Diane Wendt

Diane Wendt

Recipient, Treatment, Wisconsin

Diane was just 22 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She had recently graduated from college and started having trouble doing everyday tasks like laundry and walking up and down the stairs. Soon she was losing her breath easily and found herself fainting during yoga. 

Diane decided to visit her doctor. After some routine blood work, she got a call that changed her life.

"They called me back the next day, saying my blood and platelet counts and white blood cell counts were really low," Diane said. 

She was quickly admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Diane started her chemotherapy treatments to fight the cancer. Since she has neutropenia — low amounts of the white blood cells that help fight infection — Diane has needed blood and platelet transfusion on a regular basis to help with her low counts. 

"I can tell when I need a blood transfusion. I get pretty tired and my body gets pretty meek. Afterwards it makes a huge difference," she added. 

Diane knows firsthand the life-saving impact blood and platelet donors have on patients. She even has a special name for them.

"I call people who donate, especially platelets, earth angels. That's huge. I know that's difficult, more difficult than giving blood, and if they weren't here I would need more help. I want to say thank you to the people who spend their time doing that. It's a big deal. It's more of a big deal than you think," she said. 

Diane is determined to not let cancer define her life. She has big goals for the future including graduate school and getting back to running and hiking. As a die-hard Packers fan, Diane was delighted when she was able to attend her very first game. Watch in the video above as Diane talks about her battle with cancer, appreciation of donors and love of the Packers. 

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