While Kristopher is laid back, happy, and friendly, Cameron is very loving and affectionate, and always wanting to be held. Hunter, however, is wild and adventurous, and is constantly jumping off of pieces of furniture. All three are triplets, and they love to wrestle.
“Sometimes they get in trouble for jumping on each other, things like that,” said their mom, Stephanie. “But they love each other so much. They’re best friends.”
Stephanie and Kris Karpow regularly gave blood to help others, but they never would have predicted their newborn babies would be recipients, relying heavily on blood donations in the first months of their lives.
Their boys, Cameron, Kristopher, and Hunter, were born prematurely at just 27 weeks. The triplets weighed two pounds each and needed to receive three blood transfusions. They stayed in the hospital for three months before Stephanie and Kris could take them home.
“As a mother, it’s made me have a different view of what’s important,” said Stephanie. “The NICU is an underground world that few people see.”
Stephanie feels lucky and so grateful for all the blood donors who have helped her sons survive. But seeing the great need for blood donations, especially for young children, was heartbreaking.
“I feel guilty for the little kids who didn’t have the same outcome I have with my boys,” she said.
The San Diego Blood Bank supplied the blood for the triplets transfusions. Because of this, their family attends as many Blood Bank events as they can, including the San Diego Cares event and more opportunities that allow them to share their story and the need for donations.
“It really is easy, and it makes a huge difference,” Stephanie said. “I want to say, ‘thank you’ to donors. As a donor myself, that’s something I did, and you really are helping save lives. We wouldn’t be having this conversation without them.”
Now at three years old, the boys are healthy and continue growing into the people they will someday be. They especially enjoy going to the beach, riding bikes, and seeing the animals at the San Diego Zoo — anything outside where they can be wild and have fun.
“There’s never a dull moment with these three,” laughed Stephanie.