Friday, 26 January 2018 16:47

Little boy's survival story encourages others to donate blood Featured

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BANGOR- Three-- that's how old Jacob Thiboutot is. And he's loving every minute of it.

“He likes to be a comedian. The center of attention. As you can see, he's walking around, making funny faces, sticking his tongue out. He's an absolute joy and a ball to be around,” said Laurie Thiboutot, Jacob's mom.

But it wasn't always this way for this happy-go-lucky toddler.

At 18 months old, Jacob started showing some concerning symptoms, and a trip to the ER confirmed his mother's worst nightmare.

“They thought his abdomen looked big, and they took an x-ray and some blood work and sure enough they found this huge mass,” said Laurie.

Stage four neuroblastoma-- that was Jacob's diagnosis.

A year and a half of surgery, chemotherapy, and trips in and out of the ICU.

During that time, Jacob also received 22 blood transfusions and nine platelet transfusions.

“Every single time he would get them, it would be like a shot of adrenaline. And I would just think to myself, thank you to all those invisible heroes out there that are donating blood on a regular basis,” said Laurie.

This spunky little boy is now in remission thanks to the countless people that come out each day to give the gift of life.

“Sometimes our message becomes kind of old. We need blood, we need it constantly, we need it today, please come. Find a blood drive. But when you look at little Jacob running around and the smile on his mom's face, he's a miracle,” said Sherri Phinney, an account manager.

Now, with the brash weather and current flu epidemic, the Red Cross is again facing a shortage, and they are asking you to look at Jacob's miracle and be inspired to help someone else.

“We can't just call a pharmacy and say, 'Hey, we need 27 units of o- blood.' We can't do that. We need 27 donors to come out,” said Katelyn Eaton, an account manager with the Red Cross.

For information on where you can go to donate, click HERE.

Ashley Paul

Evening News Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

Ashley joined the WVII ABC 7 and WFVX Fox 22 in April 2015. After working as an intern at Fox 29 in Philadelphia, Fox 25 and Channel 7 in Boston, and The Today Show in Australia, she is so excited to officially kick off her career as a reporter here in Maine!

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Ashley has had an interest in news since anchoring the morning broadcast at her elementary school at the age of 10. Ashley is also a graduate of Boston University, with a degree in Journalism. At BU, she participated in various BUTV programs and reported live from the democratic headquarters during the election day coverage.

When not at the station, Ashley enjoys working out, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and watching movies. She is so excited to enjoy all that Maine has to offer, so if you see her out be sure to say hello!