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Two years ago, Gina Bellavia, who lives in Amherst, found out her kindergarten-age son Theo had ITP – an autoimmune disorder in which white blood cells attack the platelets. But there was an answer in the form of an immunoglobulin transfusion.

“Immunoglobulin, it turns out, requires the blood of at least 1,000 people to be made,” Bellavia said. “When I heard that number it blew my mind. I couldn’t believe it. I was so grateful that so many people had donated blood to save his life.”

Now she’s paying it forward in honor of Theo, now a healthy and happy 8-year-old boy. In conjunction with the Red Cross, she’s spearheaded the collection of 693 blood donations out of her 1,0003 – the number of donations needed to save Theo’s life.

Walk-ins are welcome but there’s still time to make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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