River Helmuth was born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. She was born at full-term and shortly after her family found out about her condition.
When River was two and a half months old, she developed a cold and spent 73 days in the hospital where she underwent open heart surgery and multiple blood transfusions. About six months later, River returned for another heart surgery.
Today, River is doing amazing and started kindergarten this year. Her mother Stephanie says she may need another surgery in the future.
Now her family is hosting a blood drive in honor of River. The family realizes the importance of blood donations because of River and other members in their family that have received blood transfusions, including River’s grandfather who received blood after a traumatic car accident years ago.
“Our hope for the blood drive is continue to raise awareness for the need, that’s always there, it’s not just today or tomorrow,” Stephanie adds.
River’s blood drive will be held on Saturday, September 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sullivan American Legion, 8 E. Strain Street in Sullivan, Illinois.
If you are healthy and feeling well, please visit redcrossblood.org schedule an appointment to donate at a blood drive near you.
Written by Communications & Marketing Intern Brianna Orto