CSL Plasma’s Exie Mayes raised one daughter to adulthood and then opened her heart and home to two foster children, 7-year-old Eden and 6-year-old Ethan, whom she and her wife adopted in 2019.
In addition to Mother’s Day, Mayes and her wife Liz celebrate “Gotcha Day” on April 26, the day they adopted their two youngest children.
“Motherhood has its good days and bad days,” said Mayes, who says she continuously learns the lesson of patience. “Children do not come with an instruction book. There are trials and errors, tears and joy. But we would not change a thing. We feel so blessed.”
Eden is a cheery, energetic first grader who likes being silly, playing with friends and enjoying video games. She is also well educated about her condition, von Willebrand Disease (VWD), a bleeding disorder. As Eden is also affected by a dairy allergy and is required to undergo colonoscopies and endoscopies, a plasma-derived therapy is vital to manage bleeding. Getting to a diagnosis was challenging.
“I have von Willebrand Type I disease. Before mommy got me diagnosed, we didn’t know why I would bruise and bleed,” Eden said.
Von Willebrand Disease happens when a blood protein called von Willebrand factor is either lacking or not working properly. A variety of clotting factor proteins are needed to stop bleeding after an injury, surgery or childbirth. Hemophilia is a more commonly known bleeding disorder and results when different factor proteins (Factors VIII and IX) are absent or inadequate. VWD affects both men and women, and experts say VWD is particularly underdiagnosed in women.
Mayes, manager of the Newark, Delaware, CSL Plasma Center, says having a diagnosis and treatment plans eases her mind about Eden’s health. She also shares her daughter’s story with employees and plasma donors. Eden is one of the newest Plasma P.A.L.S. and plans to visit the Newark CSL Plasma location soon.
“Not only is she adopted in real life. She is now being adopted by the CSL Plasma family,” Mayes said. “We count on plasma donors to give plasma so Eden can grow and thrive.”
The experience has made her grateful to plasma donors and CSL Plasma employees.
“Mother’s Day is every day,” Mayes said. “When you are a mom, you become a mom to everyone around you and it never gets old. A mother’s love comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, and we are so thankful to plasma donors and CSL Plasma employees who support a parent’s love for their child.”