In July 2015, Rebekah began her internship as a Web Designer at Blood Bank of Delmarva. The month of July was not only a stepping stone in her career, but it also held other significance for Rebekah. July 2015 marked her 20th year in remission from leukemia. Rebekah was only eight months old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia. Throughout her battle with leukemia, Rebekah required several red blood cell and platelet transfusions. “We always loved it when she received blood,” said her mother, Kimberly. “She got red and pink in the face. She had more energy. She was up talking and playing a lot. She was like a normal little kid should be.”
Rebekah has needed platelet and red blood cells for her various procedures. “I’ve needed tons of blood products between all of the surgeries that I’ve had. I’ve had around 30 surgeries,” says Rebekah. Her mother, Kimberly, is a frequent donor. “I think if people knew how much they were really helping someone, they would want to donate. It’s such a good thing to do,” says Kimberly.
Rebekah’s journey with BBD has come full circle from her use of blood products to supporting BBD’s mission with the use of her talents in her current position. “When we took the employee tour through the blood distribution center, there was a box eye level and it was earmarked to go to AI DuPont Hospital which is where I was treated and it was platelets. I almost had a moment. It’s just interesting how that stuff happens and comes full circle,” says Rebekah.
As Rebekah moves closer to the completion of her bachelor’s degree in Web Information Systems at Wilmington University, she reflects on all he challenges she was able to overcome. “It’s neat because I’m able to use my education at BBD which they told me that I would never be able to get. They told me that I would never be able to add beyond 2 + 2 and that I would never be able to make it out of elementary school because of my cerebral palsy and the chemo treatments at such as young age,” states Rebekah.
BBD is delighted that to have been a part of Rebekah’s life from supplying safe, quality blood products to offering her an internship in her career field. Rebekah was even featured in BBD’s yearly Life Stream newsletter in 1998. Her mother, Kimberly, shared her daughter’s remarkable story of survival and how blood donors have made a difference in their daughter’s life.