Sask. girl brings awareness to rare blood disease as 2020 Champion Child
REGINA -- A young Saskatchewan girl is sharing her story of surviving a rare blood disease as she takes on the role of Champion Child for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Torrie Schaffer, 13, was diagnosed with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) Autoimmune Blood Disease at just nine years old. TTP can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Two weeks before her diagnoses, Schaffer was experiencing unusual symptoms. When she was admitted to hospital in Regina she had a low platelet count. Soon, she had no platelet count at all.
“I noticed I was getting these spots on my body and I thought it was a rash,” she said.
She was airlifted to Saskatoon’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she was diagnosed.
She was the first child in Saskatchewan to be treated with the new Pheresis machine, purchased by the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. Without access to this machine, Scaffer would have had to seek treatment out of province.
Schaffer visits the children’s hospital every couple of months to keep her health in check.
As Champion Child, she will represent Saskatchewan in the Children’s Miracle Network Champions Program, which honours children who have survived despite severe medical challenges.