TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) – Our annual Battle of the Badges Campaign is underway to encourage people to donate blood.
For some, a blood donation can mean the difference between life and death. One family here in the Tri-Cities region is thankful someone stepped forward to give the gift of life.
Less than a year ago, Ashlee and Daniel Lynch experienced their happiest moment — the birth of their son, Elijah.
“He’s the best kid ever,” Daniel Lynch said. “I mean, he is literally the best kid every. He’s always playful. He makes everybody he comes in contact with smile.”
He’s always happy, smiling, laughing, playing,” Ashlee Lynch. “He loves people. He puts on a show for everybody.”
But before he could even walk, Elijah’s journey became an uphill battle.
“Within all those blood tests, they found some abnormalities with his hemoglobin levels,” Ashlee Lynch said. “He was diagnosed with hereditary Spherocytosis.”
The disease is the same one Ashlee’s grandfather lived with.
“It’s manageable, so he could live with it. It was just going to be a rough road,” Ashlee Lynch said.
A rough road that began with his first blood transfusion at 5-months old was quickly followed by his second. Before he was 10-months old, he had his third transfusion.
“It was like boom, boom, boom,” Ashlee Lynch said. “Right there in a row.”
“it’s been tough. It’s been real tough. It’s hard to see him go through the needle pokes and everything else, but he takes it like a champ, ” Daniel Lynch said. “He’s a fighter. He’s a tough little guy. He does well with it.”
Elijah is fighting and winning thanks to an unsung group of heroes — blood donors.
“Where would he be if it wasn’t for people donating blood?” we asked. Ashlee Lynch answered, “He wouldn’t be with us.”
That’s why the Lynches urge anyone that can to be that everyday hero by donating.
“It could be your neighbors. It could be the kids your kids go to school with. And one day it could be you or your family,” Ashlee Lynch said. “You never know where you’re going to be in an accident and need ten units of blood, or have surgery and need blood. I pray that it never is, but one day it could be you and every pint counts.”
The next Battle of the Badges Blood Drive is Thursday in Johnson City at the municipal building on East Main Street.
The blood drive begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m.
For more information on where to donate blood, click here.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.