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San Diego 5-year-old with blood disorder inspires heroes to donate blood

"She's here for a reason, you know?" said Kamila's mom.

SAN DIEGO — Kamila Saradpon is a 5-year-old girl born with a blood disorder called thalassemia. Essentially, Kamila’s red blood cells die quicker than they should, depriving the organs in her body of oxygen.  The only way to combat her condition is with regular blood transfusions.  

RELATED: News 8's Kyle Kraska gets emotional while donating blood: 'I'm very hopeful'

However, it's not that easy. Just three short weeks after a transfusion, Kamila gets weary and starts to slow down again because she becomes anemic and requires another blood transfusion.  To date, Kamila has received 96 blood transfusions to stay alive.

Unfortunately, thalassemia has no cure, so Kamila will always need a blood transfusion every three weeks of her life.  That is why her mom and dad, Maria and Kris, are such strong advocates for blood donation.  They host their own blood drive each year and often visit blood drives throughout San Diego County. 

RELATED: San Diego Blood Bank issues urgent call for donations of Type O blood

The two also bring Kamila to meet blood donors and thank them personally for saving Kamila’s life.  Maria and Kris hope that by meeting their daughter, donors can see a face that represents the importance of their donation.  The family wants to encourage everyone to donate the true gift of life.

RELATED: Be a hero by giving blood at the Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive on February 13th

RELATED: Be part of the 2nd-annual Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive on Feb. 13, 2020

Maria and Kamila will be joining News 8 at Kyle Kraska’s Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive on Feb 13 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Mission Valley.  We hope you can join us too and that you will donate to this life-saving cause, if you can. Please schedule your donation time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. here.

Credit: KFMB

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