PHOENIX — Each blood donation saves an estimated two to three lives. For a Valley family, one donation saves the life of their three-year-old daughter once a month.
Adelyn Troutman has a rare blood disorder, Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which prevents her from producing any red blood cells. The toddler needs a blood transfusion every three weeks in order to survive.
"She was born extremely anemic, she had hardly any blood," said Matt Troutman, Adelyn's father.
Adelyn's parents say four out of every one million people are affected by the disease. It took the doctor's weeks to determine what was wrong.
"If people did not donate blood for her, she would not survive. She can't make her own blood," said Sue Thew, with Vitalant.
Fortunately, Adelyn has always been able to get transfusions, but there have been some scares along the way. Last year, the three-year-old was waiting for her monthly transfusion at Phoenix Children's Hospital, when a nurse came back empty-handed.
"They came in and told us that they couldn’t find any for her. That we had to come back, possibly the next day," said Kami Troutman, Adelyn's mother. "It was terrifying. You feel so helpless; there is nothing we could do."
The shortage of blood is nothing new.
"Right now we have a less than a one day supply of Type O, which is the universal blood type used in emergencies and traumas," said Thew. "People just automatically assume that blood will be there for them when they need it."
Adelyn and her family are not waiting though for shortages to disappear. The family has been hosting blood drives twice a year in Adelyn's name since 2017.
Kami Troutman estimates they have saved more than 1,500 lives with the blood donations.
"Now that we know the importance of it, we want to help as many people as we possibly can," said Kami.
"It’s really the greatest gift you can give somebody," said Matt.
Adelyn’s Blood Drive will be on Saturday, September 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Desert Foothills United Methodist Church located at 2156 E Liberty Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85048.
To donate at any Vitalant location in Arizona, or across the country, head to https://www.bloodhero.com/.