Northside Hospital - Keeping the memory of his son alive, one donation at a time

Keeping the memory of his son alive, one donation at a time

Posted on: August 12, 2019

 

For ten years, David Chesnut has donated blood platelets. But his donation journey began in 2009, when his 19-year-old son, Logan, was diagnosed with AML leukemia.

In the summer of 2009, Logan Chesnut of Johns Creek seemed to be in top-notch shape. A rising sophomore at Georgia Southern University, Logan worked in a physically demanding summer job. Though he sometimes complained about tiredness and sudden fevers, he appeared to be physically healthy.

Then, after a visit to a family doctor, the dreaded news came – Logan was diagnosed with AML, an aggressive form of leukemia that starts in the bone marrow and destroys the blood. That same day Logan was admitted into The Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute for a month of treatment.

One day Logan was away from his hospital room for testing, while David stayed behind. A nurse from Atlanta Blood Services (ABS) visited David and asked if he would like to donate platelets while waiting. A regular whole blood donor, David agreed and soon found himself at ABS on the Northside Hospital Atlanta campus.

For David, this was the start of many more platelet donations, both from him and his community. In the months that followed, David estimates over 300 people came to donate platelets in Logan’s honor.

Sometimes it was hard convincing people to donate, because it takes a few hours,” he said, “but people became enthusiastic when I asked them to do it for Logan.”

In the meantime, Logan continued treatment at Northside as he prepared for a stem cell/bone marrow transplant in December 2009. The transplant failed, and he received another in April 2010. At first, the new transplant seemed to be successful but then Logan relapsed the week before Christmas. He passed away on January 11, 2011.

David continued donating platelets and became an active member of The Leukemia Lymphoma Society, racing in two half marathons and two triathlons to raise funds in Logan’s honor.

David recently made his 70th donation, an exciting milestone representing the many opportunities he has provided for those battling blood cancers.

I don’t see my donations as numbers, but rather as something that will hopefully help a person to keep on going, keep on fighting,” he said.

Throughout his journey, David is excited to meet other frequent donors at ABS, like Jim Arnett who recently reached his 300th donation. David plans to keep donating for many years to come, helping anyone he can and continuing to keep alive the memory of his son, one donation at a time.

Filed under: Cancer, Patient Stories,

 

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