Almost 700 people turn out at Christmas Eve blood drive - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Almost 700 people turn out at Christmas Eve blood drive

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MADISON (WKOW) -- This gift doesn't cost a cent and it saves millions of lives a year. Madison's annual holiday blood drive brought in more than 650 pints of blood Thursday afternoon. 27 News shows us it's a gift that truly makes a difference.

It's a very merry Christmas for 2 year old Hayden of Sun Prairie. This will be his very first Christmas.. out of isolation.

Kami Blatter, Hayden's mom, says, "It was difficult. Everyday, you took one day at a time. That's our motto.. one day at a time."

Hayden was born with a rare autoimmune disease. From a few months old, he had blood transfusions every week. It was blood donors like these.. who literally.. saved Hayden's life.

Blatter says, "There's no better gift, no better gift, to see that, people are giving something free of themselves, to save someone else's life."

Waiting areas were full much of the afternoon. Some families, like the Molters, are keeping their blood-giving, a twenty-year tradition.

Jay Molter says, "I started coming to the blood drive I think the first year we lived here, and gradually through the year I've accumulated much of the family coming along."

Thursday's blood drive exceeded organizers' goals.. with more than 686 people turning out. With the recent weather.. that turn out.. was needed.

Greg Novinska, the CEO of American Red Cross Badger Hawkeye Region, says, "We did lose with the big snowstorm a couple weeks ago.. lost a full day of collection, which is about what we're going to try to make up today."

Every single person that gives, gives a pint of blood. That pint can save the lives of up to three people.

Blatter says, "It's a big, big deal, for these little, little kids."

After a successful bone marrow transplant, Hayden is now an active.. smiley 2-year-old. His family all too thankful for the gift of life.

If you missed Thursday's drive.. there's another one next week at the State Capitol in Madison. That one runs December 28.. through the 30th.

Online Reporter: Teresa Mackin

Email Teresa tmackin@wkowtv.com

Follow Teresa on Twitter @ TMackin_WKOW

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