ROCHESTER, Minn.- World Prematurity Day is coming up and the Mayo Clinic's Blood Donor Program hosts a campaign to raise awarenss about how vital blood donations are to premature babies.
They started the campaign last year after three-year-old Eleanor was born three and a half months early, weighing only 1.15lbs. Now, Eleanor is a happy and healthy toddler. Her mom, Jennifer, said that's all thanks to the Blood Donor Program. "Without people coming in and donating their own blood, we're missing a piece that helped her get home," said Jennifer. One unit of blood can help save up to five babies' lives. The Blood Donor Program received 131 units of blood just since September.
Ayden is this year's featured preemie. He was born four months early at only 1.11lbs. His mom, Nicole, said it's a scary thing to go through, "there's always that guilt of 'what did I do to cause this?' Having to fight at the beginning of his life, Nicole said Ayden has turned into quite the feisty little guy.
Both moms are grateful their little ones are with them today, and it's all because of the Mayo Clinic's Blood Donor Program. The center is always accepting new donors. They're located in the Hilton Building in downtown Rochester.