Every week for the past five years, Destiny Worthington has sat in a chair watching donated blood pump through narrow plastic tubing into her body. At the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles County, she spends up to six hours every week getting blood work done followed by blood and platelet transfusions.
When she was 15 years old, Worthington went to a required routine physical for her softball team. At the time, she had a lot of bruising on her body, so doctors ran blood tests for leukemia, various types of anemia, and other blood disorders.
“I actually wasn’t diagnosed back then. They just knew that something was wrong,” said Worthington, whose bruising and lack of energy was eventually explained by a diagnosis of severe aplastic anemia, a rare condition in which a person’s body stops producing enough new blood cells . . .