KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The holidays may be over, but seven-year-old Sierra Hitsman still received a few extra gifts Thursday. But her best gift wasn't wrapped -- it was the gift of life.
Sierra has sickle cell anemia, and without a monthly blood transfusion she could die. At the Community Blood Bank Thursday, she got to meet the people who have been donating their blood to help her live a better life.
More than 25 donors have helped the little girl from Topeka, Kan. Many of them got a homemade plaque and a hug from Sierra when they met her for the first time at the blood bank
All the donors are part of the Gift of Smiles program. That means they have all been screened and their blood is given just to Sierra.
Her mother Sandra said the program gives her peace of mind because she doesn't have to worry about a transfusion rejection.
Donor Donna Gratts has been giving blood for 40 years. She said helping others is satisfying, but hearing Sierra's story was overwhelming.