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After Glenwood boy dies from rare blood disorder community holds blood drive

Blood donations matter, it's a plea shared by one mother
Posted at 6:45 PM, Oct 03, 2022

GLENWOOD, Iowa. (KMTV) — Blood donations matter — that's a plea shared by Glenwood mom Nikki Hill. Her son Abe battled a rare blood disorder before passing away late spring.

In his seven years, he relied on platelet and blood transfusions to survive. To honor his memory, the community is rallying at a blood drive for the Red Cross at Glenwood High School.

Fun, loving and kind were just a few words that best described Abe Kuhnert-Hill.

"Anybody that he met, he instantly loved them. Everybody loved him, whoever met him loved him," his mom Nikki said. "He always had a smile on his face, no matter what he was going through."

In his short seven years, he overcame countless trials. Diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, he underwent a bone marrow transplant last September and struggled with multiple viruses and infections. He passed away in April. Without him, Nikki is adjusting to a new normal. She sees herself as an advocate for Abe.

"Within his seven years of life, he has received 52 platelet transfusions and 28 red blood transfusions. During that entire time, he needed all this blood to keep him healthy, keep him going," Nikki said.

Blood donations also gave Abe an extra three weeks of life.

That's the motivation for donors like Brandi Sobbing at Abe's blood drive. She's doing what she can to help others survive.

"Both of my parents had cancer and had to have transfusions with that too, so I understand there's a huge need for it," Sobbing said.

In the United States, the American Red Cross reports someone needs blood every two seconds and a pint saves three lives, so every donation counts.

Take Hurricane Ian. Tim Goddard, an Account Manager with the American Red Cross says more than 130 blood drives were canceled and more than 2,700 pints of blood weren't collected due to the storm.

"All of that blood right now is getting sent to those people in Hurricane Ian and they're helping the Florida communities and the gaps that they had," Goddard said.

It's providing the blood that not only gave life to Abe but also serves as Nikki's purpose: she's a mother carrying out a mission first started by her son.

"Every day really is in memory of Abe, he's the reason a lot of us do what we do," Nikki said.

Find the nearest blood drive at this link.

For more stories about Abe, click below.

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