Retailers Rally for Blood Drive - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Retailers Rally for Blood Drive

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ALEXANDRIA, La. - Malia Sanchez is the 3-year-old daughter of Cenla residents Jesse and Erica Sanchez.

But the whole family has spent the last four weeks in New Orleans while Malia is treated for a heart condition.

But Alexandria hasn't forgotten its friends, and residents are doing what they can to help.

Doctors aren't yet sure if Malia will need a new heart. She's the first person in Louisiana to receive a mechanical device called the "Berlin heart," but she still might need a full transplant.

And because of an infection around that vital organ, they do know she needs new blood--and she needs it right away.

Lisa Holt is a family friend of the Sanchez. "It was a friend. And she's three years old."

That's why Lisa Holt, owner of Somethin Snazzy, called LifeShare Blood Center to organize a replacement blood drive for Malia.

Holt: "A retailers, we are in a position to call attention to things like that."

Holt and the other Retailers in Pavillion Plaza promoted the drive in stores and online. Plus, they donated gift cards to anyone who came out to give blood.

Holt: "If we want to stay local, everyone has to play. We want the community to support us, but in return we need to support our community."

And the community listened to that call.

Glori Strange, donor: "Sometimes strangers need to do stuff for others."

A little help, and a little blood, can go a long way.

Strange: "One bag can make a big difference. One bag can mean a life."

And with the help Malia has gotten so far, she is making progress.

Holt: "She's able to talk, laugh, eat, respond back and forth with mom, dad, grandparents."

Her improvement has doctors hoping she won't need a transplant after all.

Holt: "She's back to being a three-year-old again."

But LifeShare employees know there's always a need. And that's why they continue to rally around kids like Malia.

Mary Treadway, LifeShare donor recruiter: "We would like to never have to do a replacement, especially for a child, ever again. But unfortunately, it's part of what we do."

Holt: "If people would come out and realize it's not as bad as they think it is, this giving blood, and become regular donors, that would be fabulous too."

If you missed the blood drive today, you can go donate anytime at LifeShare Blood Center. Just mention Malia Sanchez's name.

The sponsors of the blood drive were the following:

John Ward Interior and Gifts

Bake Your Day

Hello Gorgeous

Bon Swirl

Sassy Girl

Life's Little Treasures

Somethin Snazzy

Southern Chic

Terra Home

Lee J's

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