Meet Sneha Dave, an energetic 16-year-old junior at Center Grove High School. She enjoys playing tennis and volunteering. Sneha is able to do what she loves thanks to the generosity of Indiana Blood Center donors.
At age six, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic and incurable inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine.
The medication she received to treat her symptoms caused pancytopenia, a disorder that reduces the number of red and white cells and platelets.
Sneha’s hemoglobin levels continued to drop, causing her to feel weak and impaired.
“I couldn’t even walk up the stairs by myself. I was so weak.”
At age 12, Sneha received her first blood transfusion at Riley Hospital for Children.
With just one transfusion, her hemoglobin levels were back to normal.“It was incredible. I had so much more energy,” said Sneha. “The transfusion was a transformation.”
A blood transfusion is the number one procedure performed in a hospital, and Sneha is one of thousands of hospital patients who benefit from this lifesaving treatment.
Today, she pays it forward. In her spare time, she volunteers with organizations like Riley Children’s Foundation, all with the motivation of spreading awareness about ulcerative colitis.
“Look at what you have instead of what you don’t,” advises Sneha. “Donate blood. It’s what saved my life.”
To learn more about colitis and Crohn’s disease, visit Sneha’s website at www.crohnsandcolitisteentimes.com.