LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The American Red Cross said its blood inventory is at a 15-year-low; the need for all types of blood is critical.
The need is so great because people donate less in the summer because of vacations and some drives have been canceled because of summer storms.
"She wouldn't have survived," Tammy Seifert said. "I would have lost my daughter, she wouldn't be here today to tell us about it."
Tammy said her daughter Nikki had a tough childhood. She was in and out of hospitals often because she had an uncommon blood disease.
"I missed a lot of school and I didn't really have a childhood," Nikki said. "I pretty much lived in the hospital. That's where I was all of the time."
Blood transfusions once a month kept her from getting too weak.
"It was kind of a difficult procedure for her to go through every time and meant time in the hospital, which we were there a lot and the red cross had always been there," Nikki said.
But when she was 13, doctors removed her spleen and she no longer needed transfusions.
Scott Friell, American Red Cross Representative said Nikki's story is the perfect example of why people should donate blood.
"Without blood donations we receive we would be hard pressed to serve patients needs because there is no substitute for blood," Friell said.
Since blood donations are broken down into three parts, Friell said you can think of it like you're saving three lives.
"It's really important everybody thinks about going and donating because I'm not the only one to help there's people out there every day in the hospital. They need your blood," Tammy said.
Nikki said people should donate blood or volunteer because you never know when the tables could turn.
"They really need to think about that could be one of our family members out there that had the blood or a friend," Nikki said. "You just never know what can happen."
With years of experience, Nikki said a needle poke, similar to the ones she got for years, isn't that bad.
The Red Cross is holding a blood drive on Tuesday from 10 to 4:30 at the Sparta Community Center, Wednesday from 10 to 2 at Globe University in Onalaska and Thursday from 10:45 to 5 at First United Methodist Church in Tomah.
To donate you must be 17 years old, or 16 with parental consent, weigh 110 pounds and be in good health.
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