Mother’s Day blood drive held in honor of baby girl with rare form of anemia

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – A blood donation event was hosted in National City on Mother’s Day in honor of a 7-month-old baby with a rare form of anemia. 

Baby Sevey beat the odds — she was born with a rare form of anemia which can be fatal if not treated properly.

“We found out at five months pregnant that it was confirmed she has Alpha Thalassemia Major, and we’re both carriers of that trait, I guess; we didn’t know,” said Anne Marie Quinto, Sevey’s mother. 

Quinto said Sevey can still live a normal life and grow up strong and healthy, but in order to do so she’ll need a blood transfusion every three weeks for the rest of her life. 

San Diego Blood Bank hosted the event to help raise awareness for blood donations in Sevey’s honor.

“So, we’re very happy if she can be an inspiration to people to come and donate,” Quinto said.

The event helped bring in much-needed blood for the community after many blood centers across the country have reported a decline in blood donations in recent weeks amongst shortages during the pandemic. 

“Luckily, she’s always been able to get blood,” Quinto said. “But we know that especially during COVID time, a lot of the blood banks had less donations so it was pretty scarce going around.”

Dozens of Sevey’s family, friends and even strangers showed up Sunday with open arms to donate blood.

“If you can donate blood you absolutely should, especially not even just for one single person but anytime in crisis you should try to donate,” said Rebecca Masterson, who donated blood on Sunday. 

“We hope with events like these and awareness that people still need blood even though this pandemic is going on, people will still need blood throughout their life that people can continue to donate,” Quinto said.

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