Jefferson City blood drive planned to support teen with cancer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - On Wednesday, Zimmer Radio Group and the American Red Cross will team up to help a Jefferson City teenager.

Hudsen Lee suffers from lymphoblastic leukemia and is constantly in need of blood. He is hoping to help others by setting the record for the most blood donated in Jefferson City history.

"I know what they've been going through and I know that they need lots of blood," said Hudsen.

He first began getting flu-like symptoms in early March and when his condition worsened, his mom took him to the hospital. Hudsen was then diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia.

Since then, he has received more than 20 units of blood.

The disease is not easy, but Hudsen's mom, Debbie, is proud of her son's attitude.

"He never complains about it, he just goes to his weekly appointments and does whatever the doctors tell him to do," said Debbie.

There is one thing doctors cannot prescribe, and that is determination. Hudsen has plenty of that and he says he wanted to hold a blood drive.

"To help the other kids that need it and the other people and it really helps them a lot," he said.

Therefore, the Red Cross is teaming up with Zimmer Radio Group to hold the blood drive and they've named Hudsen, "The Champion."

"I hated that he's the champion because of his illness, but he is a true champion because he's fought this battle very bravely," Debbie said.

And "The Champion" never gives up the fight. He will not be at Wednesday's blood drive because he'll be at the hospital receiving treatment.

If you're scared of giving blood, Hudsen has advice to help you through it.

"If you're afraid of needles, they really don't hurt that bad and I think a lot of people don't give blood because they are afraid of getting poked by needles," he said. "But I get poked every week and it doesn't really hurt that bad."

The One Community Club Blood Drive will be held Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Capital Mall in Jefferson City.

ABC 17 Stormtrack Chief Meteorologist Sharon Ray will be at the event, where organizers are hoping to collect 150 pints. Every pint of blood could potentially save three lives.

The first 200 people to donate will receive a free St. Louis Cardinals t-shirt and everyone who stops by will be registered to win a four-pack of tickets to see the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates play Sunday, Sept. 8.

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