SGT. BLUFF, Iowa — Last summer, we introduced you to Lolo, a young girl battling cancer and her sister Evelyn, who launched a blood drive in her honor. Now, they are going even bigger.
"It's beneficial for not only our family but many families around the Siouxland area."
All this week they are hosting a birthday blood drive with LifeServe Blood Center. 5-year-old Lolo has been battling leukemia since May of 2021 and has required several blood transfusions during her journey.
"Lolo was diagnosed last May with B-Cell AL leukemia and she is 13 months in and the way our treatment plan is set up, we have another 13 months to go," said her dad, Jeff. "While she is medically in remission, she's still got a fight. We still have treatments to do and all sorts of different steps to take but we are on a positive path."
Blood transfusions are a key part of her treatment.
"Lolo is on her 9th blood transfusion this year and it is an amazing thing to see how she responds to that and how necessary it is for her treatment," Jeff said.
Her family says this is their way of helping others who may need blood just like Lolo.
"It's also important for not just Lolo, but everybody in Siouxland because there are thousands of cancer patients in the area and tens of thousands across the country," Jeff said. "So we need to have that for all sorts of reasons. And there's a shortage right now and we want to give back to a community that's given so much back to us."
The family has hosted four blood drives with over 350 liters of blood donated so far. Evelyn also uses her platform as a 4-H'er to encourage others to donate.
"The reason it's important for me to be a 4-H'er during these blood drives is because when I do my community service projects, it helps show the people who come and look at my project how important it is to do these things for people," Evelyn said.
Lolo's halfway through her cancer journey and her family hopes they can help others in the community with these blood drives, just like Siouxland has already helped their little girl over the last 13 months.
"She's doing really well," Jeff said of Lolo's cancer journey. "She's responded as planned and checked off all of the boxes. Even if we have had some hiccups where we've needed to go in for transfusions, they've done great and it really helps her out so she can keep fighting."
If you would like to donate in Lolo's honor, you can schedule an appointment at LifeServe Blood Center in Sioux City all this week by going to their website here.
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