Iris’s Story

Iris Jacobs was diagnosed with Stage IV adrenal gland cancer shortly after her 12th birthday around Thanksgiving, 2013. Following intense radiation and chemotherapy treatments, coupled with frequent blood and cancer-fighting platelet transfusions, she lost her battle on December 30, 2015.

“Until my daughter was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 13, I had never known anyone who needed a blood transfusion.  I had heard the radio commercials about donating blood. I did not understand.  My daughter received life-saving blood transfusions more times than I can count.  She was dependent on platelet transfusions in her last months. The blood and platelet transfusions were truly the gift of life. Sadly, there was a serious platelet shortage in the fall of 2015,” says Deb Jacobs.

In honor of my daughter’s courage, Deb helps facilitate blood drives and encourage others in the community to also encourage blood donation.

“We can do our part to make sure there are no shortages in our communities. In central Virginia, 2-4 children are diagnosed with cancer each day. In helping to ensure adequate supply, I know that another mom gets a chance to say, “I love you” to her child. Your gift of blood truly is the gift of life.”

Her death came shortly after an area-wide shortage of platelets, the blood component most important for cancer patient transfusions.

And while Iris would undergo more than 25 surgeries to treat her cancer, it was the blood and platelets that proved paramount, extending her life an extra six months and allowing her to attend special events such as school dances and a Make a Wish trip to Orlando, FL.