J and I are donating blood tomorrow at our church. DSC has a blood drive I think twice a year, and we both are excited to join with our church family to help save lives. While we have both donated before, we decided to do this at our church to encourage this ministry to our community to grow. There are a lot of people who desperately need blood, and even more people who have no idea how desperate the need is or how easy it is to meet that need. I was so excited to see an Extreme Makeover Home Edition the other day that addressed this national need. In it was a story of an amazing young girl and her family. My favorite part was that throughout the Makeover they held blood drives all over the country in this girl. Seriously, if you think donating blood is too much of a hassle, read Lizzie's story and then give of yourself so that someone else can live!
Lizzie Bell was born with a rare blood condition that is characterized by a failure of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Less than 700 kids in the world are stricken with this disease, and 14-year-old Lizzie is one of them. The only thing that has kept her alive are the routine blood transfusions she has every two-three weeks. If she gets sick, she often has to go to the hospital so doctors can monitor her and keep her stable.
When Lizzie was five, she and her mother decided to visit her local blood bank. There they learned that the refrigerators that should have been full of blood weren't. They didn't understand until that day just how desperate the nation is for donated blood, and decided to do something about it. The family established the John P. Bell Foundation, and for the past ten years little Lizzie and her family have been working hard to raise awareness about the desperate and ongoing need for blood donations.
Lizzie was given the Red Cross Hero Award for her ambassadorship in telling others about blood drives and donating blood. But while she's been helping countless others, the Bells' home has been neglected because of Lizzie's high medical bills. The home is sinking, has gaping cracks in the cement floor, suffers mold and termite problems and needs countless repairs. These conditions are dangerous to Lizzie's health and her vulnerable immune system, so it's up to Ty and the designers to help the Bells spread the word, lighten the load and give Lizzie a comfortable and healthy home.