Donated blood helps dad beat cancer twice

April 12, 2017 07:19 PM

Every day countless people rely on donated blood to survive. One of those people is Scott Baker, a 47-year-old husband and father of two.

Baker not only beat cancer once, but twice and he's sharing his story to give hope to others.

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"I was 29 years old and I had no idea what I was in for," recalled Baker.

It was 1999 when Baker was diagnosed with lymphoma. Instead of fun-filled dates with his then-girlfriend, Sue, he soldiered through surgery, chemo and radiation.

"I was too sick to know how many blood transfusions," he explained.

WEB EXTRA: Two-time cancer survivor talks about why it's so important to donate blood

Treatment was successful and he went into remission.

"Then, she married me, ‘cause we thought, ‘Whew, we dodged that bullet. We’re done with a major struggle in life.’ We had no idea what we were getting into," he admitted.

The couple was blessed with two sons. One was an infant, the other was 2 years old when Baker had a bone marrow transplant to ensure his ongoing health. Again, donated blood platelets were needed. However, a few years later, he was hit with another health challenge.

"I blacked out for three months," he recalled. "My last memory was Father’s Day 2012 and I feel like I woke up September 13 and Sue had gotten me admitted to Sloan Kettering.

The diagnosis was primary central nervous system lymphoma, in his brain. Again, he would rely on donated blood to endure the high dose chemo and a second bone marrow transplant to battle this rare cancer.

Baker says he was so sick, he often didn’t feel better even after getting platelets – until his very last transfusion.

"On June 3, my wife drove me to New York and I was in this little room by myself and I could literally feel life coming back into me. I was literally filling up. You’ve never experienced anything like it," he avowed.

By November 2012, his bone scans were clear. Baker had a picture of his kids on the wall in the hospital. He says those boys are what got him back home.

Baker says his mission now is giving hope to others and reminding us all about the power donated blood has in this fight for life.

NewsChannel 13 is teaming up with the American Red Cross for our Save a Life Blood Drive. You can help by giving the gift of life on Thursday, April 13 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. We'll be collecting blood donations at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, the Radisson Hotel in Albany and at Viaport Rotterdam.  You can make a reservation by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or clicking here.


Benita Zahn

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