LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The Mayor's Give a Day Week of Service kicks off Saturday, April 13, and offers tons of ways to volunteer. That includes a blood drive at the Kentucky International Convention Center next Wednesday. This is the first time the event will happen during Give a Day Week, but the gift of blood saves lives every single day.
Ellie Torres is living proof of that. She’s only 16, but she’s been through more than most of us.
"I am diagnosed with lymphoma,” Torres said.
Her cancer makes life look a lot different and blood transfusions critical.
"I myself have received three so far through my course of treatment,” Torres said.
Torres and her family moved to Louisville from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. She's done treatments at Norton Children's Hospital and St. Jude.
"I just believe it's very important to give blood because of me and people like me who need blood,” Torres said.
She's one year into her treatment and has two more to go.
"I just feel very grateful that people think that the cause is important,” Torres said.
Stories like Torres’ can become more common thanks to you.
"It was really the mayor's idea, and of course we're going to jump right on board because we always need blood. There's nothing like having the celebrity of the mayor to do it,” American Red Cross Kentucky Region CEO Jennifer Adrio said.
The Red Cross and the mayor's office added the blood drive to the lineup, and they're hoping you'll add it to your calendar.
"It takes an hour from start to finish. The actual blood donation only takes about eight minutes, and it's a very simple process,” Adrio said. "Always great snacks and always wonderful volunteers who make you feel good about what you're doing.”
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It’s an event that gives you the chance to give a priceless gift.
"There's no replacement for human blood. There's only one place to get it and that's from you and I,” Adrio said.
The blood drive runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m on Wednesday, April 17, at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Click here to sign up.
Individuals or groups wanting to find a project should visit www.mygiveaday.com, where projects and needs submitted by local non-profit agencies and other groups are listed.
Those impacted by the Mayor's week of service: