RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) – Sunday was the first-ever international Alloimmunization and HDFN Awareness Day, and one Central Illinois woman is working to educate others about the rare condition.
It happens when a pregnant woman’s body makes red blood cell antibodies that can attack the unborn baby, causing hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn, also called HDFN.
Emily Hamby says she was diagnosed in 2021 when she was pregnant with her third child. Doctors told her she was at an increased risk for pregnancy loss and stillbirth.
“We were really devastated and we didn’t know very much about it. It was it was pretty scary situation. But I wanted to learn everything I could about it. I had to switch doctors a couple of times because I had to have very, very careful high risk care,” Hamby said.
Luckily, her child is healthy and was unaffected by her antibodies. During her pregnancy, Hamby says she found support through the Allo Hope Foundation. She also says anybody can show their support for the AHF community by wearing purple. Blood donations are encouraged for those without known antibodies.