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Baby Girl's Life Depends on Blood Donations - John Dunn

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CHARLOTTE, Tenn. -- A family is pleading for the gift of life. Nine month old Emily Rodgers has a rare blood disease, and her survival is literally dependent on the generosity of others.
   
Every day is a blessing for the Rodgers family. It is another day to see their child smile, even though a chronic disease threatens her life.

"There are no words to describe it. I mean it's just unbelievable, everything she has to go through. You never want to see your child suffer," says mother Jennifer Rodgers.

Emily Rodgers has a condition so rare, you've probably never heard of it. Emily has beta thalessemia major, which  means her body does not produce enough hemoglobin.

"As a result of this blood disease, she requires transfusions every three to four weeks for the rest of her life," says Dr. Michael Rutledge DeBaun with Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
         
Thankfully Emily's doctor has a big heart. On Sunday he spoke to the Rodgers' church family in Dickson County. The family is appealing for blood. "Blood is life. Not just for Emily, but for many other children out there that need it also. We want to try to fight every way we can for our daughter," says Emily's father Corey Rodgers.

Many church members step forward to help. They are signing up for a Memorial Day blood drive at the church. Some will give for the first time. "You know if we can volunteer the blood or money, or time to be aware of this stuff, I think it would be a good thing," says church member Michael Jackson.

Emily's survival is completely dependent on the love and support of others. Without transfusions every few weeks she will die. "It's wonderful to have so much support from our own family and our church family," says Corey Rodgers.

The Rodgers hope to always see their daughter's smile. They understand that blood is life.

There are only about a thousand people in the United States who suffer from this condition. The Rodgers family is also active in raising money for research. If you'd like to help in the fight against this disease, checks can be made to Cooley's Anemia Foundation. Donations can be mailed to:

The Rodgers Family
P.O. Box 387
Ashland City, TN 37015

To donate to the Red Cross: CLICK HERE

For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn

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