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Thanks for visiting my web site. I'm one of just 1000 people in the world with Diamond Blackfan Anemia. This is when bone marrow produces insufficient red blood cells for the body's needs, as a result, I used to have a blood transfusion every couple of weeks. I'm alive because people like YOU donated blood, for 19 years I depended on others for this life-giving support, thank you!
On July 25, 2013 I had a marrow transplant ~ ONE marrow donor matched me, an international donor helped change my life. I am not yet one year out of marrow transplant, however, I am am to live without transfusions for the first time in my life!
But I cannot forget, there are many children who need blood transfusions because of burns, injuries, surgeries, cancer and anemia. Did you know the premature baby is the number one recipient of donated blood?
The donation of one pint of blood from one adult will save up to three lives. You can help by donating blood at your local blood donation center. Make sure to tell them that you're donating in honor of the children in your community, find the blood donation center that supplies this need to your local pediatric hospital.
In 2009 I was on ABC 's Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. My family was chosen to receive a new house. It's beautiful! Our old house was falling apart and our new home was built in about 100 hours with more than 3,000 volunteers giving of their time! This show featured blood drives all over the country, 11,000 bags of blood were collected. Today, I've been contacted from people in countries all over the world inspired to donate blood for the first time! Thank you Tucson, all the volunteers and especially the crew from Extreme Makeover, this show has changed many lives ~ more importantly, it has SAVED lives! I was just 14 years old when the show aired.
Now in 2014, this May I turn 20 years old. It means, I will exit pedicatric medicine and begin a new season in adult care. However, I cannot forget the importance of my inspired work, so, I've set up some specific campaigns to help medically complex and fragile kids, especially when they are first diagnosed:
1. Lizzie Bell Endowment at the UA Foundation will ensure any child 'living' at the hospital I grew up in to have the best care possible. I did not always like being at the hospital but when I arrived there as a 7 week infant my delicate situation was immediately addressed with the best care a baby could receive. I want to make sure I give back, someone paid for me to be able to have the best, I can make sure it is there for the next child "upon diagnosis". This is Arizona's Pediatric Research Center, I am proud to support the other kids who must receive their care here in Southern AZ.
2. Team Lizzie Bell's mission addresses the 7 Pediatric Populations constantly needing blood and blood products and the advancement of Pediatric Hematology. This campaign is all over the world, blood donation and marrow registry is really important!
3. Lizzie's Loot addresses the comfort of the child from birth to young adult ~ this is about toys, gift cards, medical equipment and staff needs to better serve University of Arizona Medical Center and Diamond Children's here in Tucson, AZ. It is my way to provide LOOT kind of things like kid size MRI machines or teachers specializing in chemo brain or UA Blankets and other Wildcat Gear.
Send me an email if you need more information about how and where to make tax deductible contributions to my foundation (John P. Bell Family Foundation) to help us fund our projects for kids, or if you'd like more information about the television program "Extreme Makeover", I answer all of my emails and I'd be delighted to talk to you. I get to update this site less often than I'd like, but, after marrow transplant some things just have to slow down ~ I know you understand.
But YOU can help kids like me right now -- today. When you contribute funds or blood, you help medically fragile kids get through another day. I've loved helping my 'hospital' friends, all the kids who grow up in a pediatric center just like I had to ~ we become family. I need your help more than ever ~ I know you want to make a difference, if I can do it so can you!
Let's talk soon, CONTACT ME!