People of the Delta came out to donate blood, all while showing support for one little girl, who's fighting a rare illness. 

"And when I get my needle at nighttime, I don't even cry," Natalie Hughes said.

Meet 3- year old Natalie Hughes. This past summer, Natalie was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare disease that effects bone marrow. Natalie's mother, Lynsey Stevens, reflects on when they found out about her daughter's illness.

"But her bone marrow basically died, it just stopped. So that means she's no longer producing cells for her body, no immunity system, nothing like that, until it improves," Lynsey Stevens said.

The illness causing Natalie to be hospitalized for about a month, having to undergo lots of blood transfusions, while her parents had to switch off turns being in the hospital with her, due to the covid-19 pandemic.

"Natalie was diagnosed with aplastic anemia this summer and has required transfusions regularly, so this is kind of a way for us to help bring awareness to the need for blood, blood products, and help giveback and hopefully get people to donate and realize how important it is," Lynsey Stevens said.

Covid-19 has caused a blood shortage, so people came out from all over the delta, to come help donate blood.

Natalie's cousin, Moronda Stokes, decided to help.

"There were times that Natalie would go in and her levels would be slightly above what they consider critical, so they wouldn't necessarily give her blood or platelets, but within 24 hours her fever has spiked, she was back at the hospital getting them. That's when we kind of realized there was such a shortage in Mississippi," Moronda Stokes said.

So that's when Natalie's family and friends teamed up with Mississippi Blood Services to put on the blood drive in hopes to help others in need of blood. All while continuing support, for one tough little girl.

If you missed the blood drive, you can still help stop the shortage, by heading to Mississippi Blood Services here in Greenville.

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