Colonial Heights residents donate to 'Blood Drive for Kennedy'

WRIC Newsroom - COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) -- The Cameron Avenue Church of Christ in Colonial Heights held a blood drive today, organized in large part by a young girl who knows all too well the need for donors and wanted to give back to others.

8News spoke with Kennedy Estes, the 13-year-old behind it all.

"I think it's important because it's a gift of life to someone and I think when people are doing it, they could be saving someone's life," Kennedy said.

But that's not the whole story, as Kennedy's mother explained.

"What she didn't say is that she needs this blood," Kym Estes said. "It takes 10,000 donors to make one treatment for Kennedy, and Kennedy needs it every 4-6 weeks, but she was talking about the people she knows that need blood."

That is because Kennedy has been living with Lupus and ITP, an auto-immune disease affecting her blood. Kennedy saw this as a way to give back to others like her.

"So, we wanted to start doing blood drives for my friends that received blood transfusions and we wanted to give them, kind of like a gift of blood," Kennedy said.

Kennedy's father said he was amazed at all the generosity offered toward his daughter.

"It's overwhelming when you look, especially when you see people who are complete strangers, showing up to help a young lady who they've never met before," Keith Estes said.

8News spoke with one of those donors who was at the event, Robert Sodaro.

"It's helpful and my body always manufactures more blood, so it's not like I'm giving up something that I can't get back," he said.

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