Blood Center of WI holds Season of Giving Blood Drive at Zoo

MILWAUKEE -- The Blood Center of Wisconsin held a blood drive at the Milwaukee County Zoo Wednesday, and many rolled up their sleeves to help save lives.

9-year-old Kyleigh Forster was born with a heart defect, and has already undergone three open heart surgeries! It was the generosity of complete strangers who helped save Kyleigh, by donating their blood. "She has received a lot of blood, and if the blood wasn't there, Kyleigh might not be here with me," Kyleigh's mom, Christine Forster said.

The Blood Center of Wisconsin says donations tend to decline after the holidays, so each year, the Blood Center puts on a Season of Giving Blood Drive. "The Blood Center of Wisconsin serves every hospital in southeastern Wisconsin, so there is a constant need for us to be able to get the blood that we need, to serve the hospitals, and serve our community," Fay Spano with the Blood Center of Wisconsin said.

Some of those at Wednesday's blood drive have been donating for decades, while others were first-timers. "If I donate a pint, a pint will be replenished in two months, so it's probably good for my system too, the old man that I am," blood donor Stephen Kupcho said.

Just one pint of donated blood can save the lives of three people! The Blood Center of Wisconsin is asking for your help in its mission to continue saving lives, like that of little Kyleigh Forster. "Ten years ago, I never would've thought that one of my children would need blood. You don't want to wait until you know somebody that needs it. You want to do it now," Christine Forster said.

The Season of Giving Blood Drive at the Milwaukee County Zoo goes until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, and from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Thursday. To schedule an appointment, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO.