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Delilah Leusch has one of the rarest disorders in the world. It's called Diamond Blackfan anemia, and it has made her beholden to those who donate blood. "We hadn't really given that much thought to donation, but now it's one of the most important things in our lives," said Delilah's mother, Dana Green. "Anything people can do to help the Red Cross helps kids like Delilah." "She represents the people we're helping every day," said the Red Cross' Julie Brehm. Seventeen-month-old Delilah needs a transfusion every two months to help her cope with Diamond Blackfan. The disorder is characterized by an extremely low count of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body.
"When she was born, the doctor realized quickly that her blood was very, very thin," Green said. Delilah, who had trouble breathing, spent two weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit. Delilah lives on a steady diet of transfusions. "We're very lucky, because this is really her only issue," Green said. "She's a happy, healthy little girl who needs other people to give blood."
This story by newspaper reporter Michael Moore was first published in the Missoulian in Missoula, MT on February 22, 2010.
Those who participate in donating blood or platelets May 27-31 will receive a free Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
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