RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Molly Baer is making her list and checking it twice, but there is one very important thing the seven-year-old needs: blood donations.
Molly has beta thalassemia major, a genetic form of anemia.
"It causes her to make poor red blood cells that her body can't use," said mom Tanya Baer.
Tanya Baer says Molly was diagnosed shortly after she was born, and she will need a transfusion every three weeks for the rest of her life.
"Molly won't live," said Baer. "That's the sad reality. Without blood donations and blood donors and the gift of blood that is given by them, Molly has no survivability."
Every three weeks, Molly gets 500 ml of type-O blood. That's slightly more than the amount of blood from one donation. Each transfusion takes an entire day.
Baer says right now, it's easy to find Molly a match, but that won't be the case as she gets older when she develops more antibodies. She also needs fresh blood to keep her hemoglobin levels high, which is why blood from local donors is crucial.
"We need fresher units of blood. It's a very important thing for Molly. When her blood is not fresh, it doesn't last long," said Tanya Baer.
That's why Molly's Christmas list has a special gift on it, one that can't be found in any store or under any tree. A gift Molly's family hopes many will give this holiday season.
"That is just huge to a family like us. It's not about the gifts that cost money, or even spending time together as a family. Without blood donors, we wouldn't get that gift of spending time together as a family," said Baer.
The NBC12 Be the Giving Type Blood Drive is Wednesday, Dec. 20 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Science Museum of Virginia.
Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.