Home' Army News : September 26th 2013 Contents "
'IT'S a real pleasure to see
her out running and fighting
with her sisters again," said
Maj Nathan Klinge looking
back on his daughter Elsa's two-
and-a-half year battle with cancer.
Siblings fighting may not be the
most comforting sound, but for this
Army couple in South Australia it
was a sound sorely missed after
Elsa was diagnosed with pre-B
acute lymphoblastic leukaemia one
day after her fifth birthday on June
Elsa's mother, Capt Kerry
Klinge, said they had noticed for
several weeks she wasn't herself.
"Initially she had symptoms of
cold and flu," she said.
"After a week her symptoms
had got a little better but her glands
in her neck were still quite large
and we agreed with the doctor that
we needed to get blood tests done
to see what was going on."
It wasn't long after the tests that
they received the shattering news
that Elsa had cancer.
What followed was a two-and-
a-half year chemotherapy program
including many blood donations,
which made the difference between
life and death on more than one
Maj Klinge said the blood prod-
ucts were an important part of the
management process of the chemo-
"The chemotherapy knocks
down the red blood-cell count and
they would take Elsa down as low
as they could," he said. "This is
when the blood donations come
in."The blood donations were
administered to Elsa to bump her
red-blood cell count back up and
allow her to get back to some of the
regular things in life, such as school
and playing with her friends.
Maj Klinge said the blood dona-
tions administered to Elsa had an
"She would be lethargic,
extremely unwell and have a
grey look towards the end of the
treatment," he said.
"As soon as the blood donation
started the tops of her ears would
turn red and start to glow, followed
by her lips and cheeks -- you could
almost see her filling up on the
"No more than 30 minutes later
she would be bouncing and run-
ning around like usual."
To complicate matters further,
Elsa was exposed to chicken pox,
which Maj Klinge said could have
proven fatal because of the treat-
ment she was receiving at the time.
"Due to Elsa having a low
immune system, doctors had to
administer a live vaccine compared
to the traditional vaccine," he said.
"Several hundred donations of
blood contributed to her having
Elsa is now in remission how-
ever will still have check-ups as
part of a long-term plan to ensure
that if the cancer does come back it
is identified early and appropriate
treatments put in place.
Talking about the importance
of blood donations, Maj Klinge
said until someone saw the effects
first-hand, the magnitude of its
importance didn't hit home.
"I've always had it in the back
of my mind that blood donations
can help people," he said.
"But when you see your child at
the point of not being able to come
back by herself and then see her
bounce back after a blood donation
you realise it is an amazing gift."
On the back of this diagnosis
and in general support of donat-
ing blood, 3HSB organised a blood
drive with reservists who wanted
to donate, Maj Klinge said he
believed the large amount of dona-
tions came from the strong desire
within Army to serve others.
"Donating blood is a genuine
way to do this service for the com-
munity," he said.
Elsa is back to her old self these
days running around, playing and
fighting with her sisters and said
she always felt so much better after
the blood donations during her
treatment, joking that there must
have been some really good stuff in
"I'm really happy that people
donated their blood to me, other-
wise I might still be quite sick,"
"I'd like to thank everyone from
the Army for donating -- it helps us
kids out a lot."
Keeps you switched on
Army September 26, 2013
A gift to glow about
It took hundreds of blood donations to help save the life of eight-year-old Elsa, Cpl Nick Wiseman reports.
As soon as the
started the tops
of her ears would
turn red and
start to glow,
followed by her
lips and cheeks --
you could almost
see her filling
up on the blood
-- Maj Nathan Klinge,
father of leukaemia patient
Making a difference: Maj Nathan Klinge donates blood whenever he can after learning what a precious
gift it can be when his daughter Elsa needed transfusions to treat her leukaemia.
THE Defence Blood Challenge is
on until November 30.
Soldiers can donate blood to
save lives and help Army defeat
the Navy, Air Force and public
Register donations at
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