You'll never regret giving the gift of life

Elki Guymer with dad Jevon who is giving blood to help his daughter, who has leukemia.
Elki Guymer with dad Jevon who is giving blood to help his daughter, who has leukemia. John McCutcheon

MEETING Elki Guymer has swiftly put any of my problems into harsh perspective.

This time last year, the then three-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

While most children are counting down to Santa's arrival, Elki is rolling up the sleeves on her tiny arm every fortnight and counting down the seconds as her blood is taken for testing.

I met Elki in April when her family was surprised with a backyard makeover by a Coast school.

I have since been in touch with the Guymers several times to share their journey and campaign to increase blood donors.

When I arrived at their home this week, Elki greeted me with her infectious smile, held my hand and told me she had asked Santa for a Rapunzel doll with long hair.

Her hair is just starting to grow back. And as my nieces ask my sister to tie their long hair like Emma the yellow Wiggle every day, my heart breaks for Elki who has had to grow up way too soon.

The family is asking people to donate blood at the Nambour Blood Donor Centre on December 30.

Mum Lisa told me they ask donors: "What motivates you?".

I'm going to donate blood for the first time and it will be Elki and Libby (one of my sister's best friends who lost her fight last month), who motivate me.

I urge anyone who hasn't donated before to do the same.

Topics:  donate blood leukaemia soapbox

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