12 Days of Giving blood drive begins

<p>Blood Drive</p>

Blood Drive

The American Red Cross kicks off its 12 Days of Giving holiday blood drive today to save lives across our region.

It's an effort and an outreach that KAPP-KVEW is happy to partner with the Red Cross on.

One pint of blood can help save the lives of up to three people.

Today, we spoke with a Pasco mother who says blood donations helped save the life of her daughter.

She's speaking out to encourage others to donate and make a difference.

Twin sisters Emily and Gracie Reser are inseparable.

The 6 1/2 year olds do just about everything together.

But about 4 years ago, this close relationship was threatened, when Emily got sick.

"Her kidneys were failing and she was puffed up and we knew something was pretty bad wrong" said Kammi Reser, Emily's mother.

Turns out, Emily had E. Coli poisoning, an infection that kills blood cells.

"I was concerned, very concerned" said Reser.

Emily was flown to Spokane, where she needed multiple blood transfusions to survive.

Thankfully - she got them.

"She had four blood transfusions and about three dialysis treatments" said Reser.

Today, the 12 Days of Giving blood drive is kicking off across the Tri-Cities.

The goal is to gather as much blood as possible, to help those who are sick this holiday season.

"It's always important to be up collecting leading into the holidays, because the usage can triple around holiday weekends, so we've got Christmas and New Year's coming up where that's gonna deplete the supply" said Levi Martin, American Red Cross.

Dozens of people donated blood at Kadlec Regional Medical Center today.

Volunteers with the Red Cross say each pint of donated blood can help patients who have cancer, a heart condition, or even a baby who is low on blood cells.

"It's gonna go to a good cause, and it's gonna help someone live another day" said Martin.

For Emily, that day has turned into four years and counting.

Her mom says she is forever grateful for those who donated blood so her family could survive.

"I can't even express in words what that means to our family, that people gave and because of their giving, she is here today" said Reser.

Last year, the Red Cross got 500 units of blood during the 12 Days of Giving.

This year, organizers are hoping to collect even more units.

They say so far, they're on track to do so.

For information on when and where you can donate, click here.