Gift of Life: A 9-year-old girl's inspiring story

    6:53 AM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) -- It is National Blood Donor Month. Every two seconds someone needs blood, including children.

    Sit with 4th grader Maddie Windle for five minutes and you'll learn about her two loves.

    "I love to draw. I just love animals so much," she says.

    It's a brief escape from the wires and IV's surrounding her bed at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

    It's been almost two years since Maddie was diagnosed with Leukemia.

    "It's all you can do to hold it together," says Maddie's dad Brad Windle.

    The once healthy little girl with pig tails is now fighting for her life.

    Brad explains, "Not only did she have a grapefruit size tumor on her right kidney. She also had lesions on both her lungs that put her at stage four."

    Maddie needed blood and she needed it quick. Without it, she wouldn't have survived. Over the years she's been through several transfusions. One of her donors is her dad. 

    He says, "The need for blood doesn't take a vacation. It doesn't take the weekend off. It is always here."

    "Whenever I am getting the blood, I feel really good," explains Maddie. "Just afterward, I feel really great."

    Maddie's doctors are optimistic she will one day be cancer free. Until then, it's one day at a time.

    "She is going to get better. There is no other choice," says Brad.

    Maddie is hoping to get out of the hospital very soon. It would be  a perfect early birthday present. She turns 10 in just a few days.

    "I think for my party I am going to have my friends over and have a slumber party at my house," smiles Maddie.

    They're big plans for the little girl who's lived more life in her nine years then many people will live in a lifetime.

    "Maddie, I mean Maddie is my rock through all of this," says Brad.

    She's a blood recipient that's forever thankful. Expressing her gratitude for the "gift of life" the best way she knows how.

    Blood Facts:

    • Someone needs blood every two seconds 
    • 44,000 donations a day in the U.S.
    • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S
    • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints
    • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O
    • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
    THV 11 is challenging you to pay it forward and give the gift of life. Remember the process takes less the 15 minutes. Each time you give, you can save up to three lives.

    Check out a list of blood drives near you in central Arkansas. For more information call 1 (800) RED CROSS.

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