Casa Grande toddler dependent on blood transfusions, hosting blood drive for birthday

Posted at 5:45 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 07:28:53-04

Nathan is not yet 3 years old, but already the Casa Grande toddler has endured 44 blood transfusions.

“He knows he has to get 'pokeys,'" said April Macak, Nathan's mother. "He knows he has to take medicine every day.”

Nathan has a very rare blood disorder called Gardos channel mutation. Just a few weeks ago, his mother said he received a new diagnosis called dehydrated stomatocytosis with dyserythropoiesis phenotype. 

“We were told that he’s the second known person in medical literature that they can find, and this is how rare his blood disorder is,” Macak said.

Nathan's body produces immature red blood cells, causing them to break rapidly. It makes him very weak. Nathan needs a blood transfusion every five weeks, and he'll need it for the rest of his life. 

“I just feel bad for him, and I wish I could take on his disease myself as a parent," Macak said.

Nathan and his mom spend countless hours at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Macak said she's very grateful to them, and everyone who donates blood. 

She knows how critical it is for blood banks to receive blood donations because these donations save Nathan’s life.

“It’s overwhelming, and I fear it getting worse or ever losing him," Macak said.

Nathan will turn 3 on August 24. The community is taking action by organizing him a birthday blood drive.

The blood drive will be held on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mondo Anaya Community Center located at 1487 N. Crane Street in Casa Grande. To make an appointment, call 1-877-UBS-HERO (827-4376) or visit the following website and use the sponsor code: CLEagleScout.