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Gabriel Clark

Gabriel Clark

A family's adoption saves little boy

Gabriel was adopted from China when he was three by a local family who knew he would require blood transfusions for the rest of his life.

“People sometimes question us because we knew when we chose him to be part of our family that he would require transfusions for his entire life – and how hard that would be…’why would you take on so much willingly,’” Gabriel’s mom Doreen said.

Doreen said her family never gave adopting Gabriel a second thought. “For one thing, look at that face!” she said.

“But secondly, we’ve always been in Cincinnati and, I guess, have always been spoiled by the great resources of Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and Hoxworth,” said Doreen. “We just trusted God’s plan (and have been proven right) that he would get the care he needs.”

Doreen is among a group of moms across the country that have also adopted children with Beta Thalassemia Major, and she’s learned even in the United States not every family and every region is so lucky to have the resources Cincinnati has.

“Many children with Thalassemia in the Mediterranean and surrounding regions of the world don’t have access to the adequate medical care or safe and abundant blood supply we have here in Cincinnati,” Doreen said. “Many of those children don’t live to see the age of 13.”

Doreen has been a blood donor since the time she was legally allowed to donate.

“I used to think of blood recipients only as those who needed a one-time donations – maybe for surgery or a car accident,” Doreen said. “Bringing Gabriel home made me so much more aware that there is a population of people who need multiple units over limited durations of time (during chemo treatment) or as in his case, over a lifetime.  We will literally be at the mercy of donors like you for the rest of our lives! So, regular, consistent donors and frequent organized blood drives are of utmost importance!