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Local six-year-old encourages blood donations, shares story of survival

Posted at 12:18 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 13:18:45-05

MILWAUKEE, WI - As blood centers push year-end donations, one local six-year-old girl is sharing her experience with blood disease to encourage people to give.

"[Being in the hospital was] hard because I had to have all these transfusions and stuff,” Gia Danninger said.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at her now, but six-year-old Gia was once hospital bound, fighting for her life last year. She was diagnosed with aplastic anemia when her body stopped producing enough new blood cells.

Gia’s mother, Jenna Danninger credits numerous blood and platelet transfusions for keeping her daughter alive prior to Gia's life-saving bone marrow transplant.

“When you’re outside of things sometimes it’s kind of, 'Oh, yeah, people donate blood,’ but then when you’re in the thick of it and you’re seeing that being infused into your child, you understand the value of it,” Jenna Danninger said.

Jenna wants her children to realize the value of giving blood too; that’s why Gia's passing out thank you cards at the Blood Center of Wisconsin's Season of Giving Blood Drive, sharing her story, and letting donors like Michelle Goedken and hundreds of others know she’s grateful for their life-saving gift.

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018 - 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO or visit