CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 9-year-old Charlotte girl, who relies on monthly blood transfusions, spent her day Friday saying thank you.
She handed out candy canes to blood donors with her family there to support her.
Mae Rainy knows all too well the gift the donors are giving.
“It means that they care about other children, that they know sometimes what children feel like without blood,” she said.
It’s hard to believe the articulate young girl has only been in the U.S. for two years. That’s when the Rainy family adopted her from China.
"When we brought her home, we knew she had a disease called Thalassemia, which requires her to have a blood transfusion every three to three-and-a-half weeks," her father Bryan Rainy said.
On her visit Friday, she isn’t getting blood. She’s giving out the candy canes to people who provide the blood, including her two brothers.
“Seeing the effect that Mae has had on people and the people who give blood to Mae, it just seems right I start giving blood too,” brother Caleb said.
Mae already has two donors lined up for a bone marrow transplant in the spring or summer, but until then, she relies on others to give so she can keep going strong.
“Even ourselves, we have to remind ourselves that we even need to go give for other people as well, so it’s pretty neat. We’re all coming down here to do it, not just for Mae, but for other people that need it as well,” Caleb said.
Once Mae’s iron levels get to where they need to be, she’ll get the marrow transplant.