Nathan Herber and his team of medical superheroes work to defeat cancer
Nathan Herber already has been through more medical interventions than many people have to deal with in a lifetime. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2018, Nathan has received multiple rounds of chemotherapy, endured a host of complications, developed several severe infections, required a ventilator to breath, and eventually had to receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to take over the work of his lungs. He was hospitalized in Mayo Clinic's Pediatric ICU for months.
Through it all, Nathan and his family persevered, buoyed by Nathan's joyful spirit. "He is my little rainbow, and spreads smiles and cheer. He's a fighter, and he's so resilient," says Nathan's mother, Becky.
Throughout his medical ordeal, blood products were a crucial part of Nathan's care. They were needed as his medical team prepared for the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. And while he remained on the lung bypass, Nathan often required a unit or two of blood each day.
"The blood bank at Mayo was wonderful," says Nathan's father, Andy. "The nurses were so proactive."
Although it was a long process, with careful treatment, monitoring and care from his Mayo Clinic team, Nathan began to recover. After 86 days in the hospital, he was able to go home. Today, Nathan's cancer is in remission, and now he can join his siblings in their fun.
Andy says his son's return to a happy childhood is nothing short of miraculous ― a reality that hit home on a recent family trip. "When I watched Nathan on the beach, and he was able to run with his brothers and jump in the ocean, I was overcome with emotion."
Nathan's family planned the Crushing Koopas & Childhood Cancer blood challenge in September. They were able to collect many donations in support of this cause. This challenge now will become an annual event.
Blood donors are lifesavers. Consider donating for someone today. You never know when that someone may be you or someone you love. When you give, others live.