SAN ANTONIO – A 7-year-old San Antonio boy with bone marrow cancer is in desperate need of blood. The problem is, his blood type is extremely rare.
Dev Reddy has been in intensive care for several weeks. He was diagnosed in July with acute childhood leukemia.
What's making Dev's battle complicated is that he has a blood type of O-negative, which only about 7 percent of the population have, which is why the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is holding a two-day blood drive in his honor.
"He can donate to anybody, but he can only receive that specific type of blood, and that's what makes it even more difficult, is that's only 7 percent of the population," said Priya Gupta, a family friend.
Dev has used more than 330 blood products since his diagnosis, officials said.
About 30 family friends formed Team Dev to assist the first-grader and his family.
The staff at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center first learned about Dev in November, when members of Team Dev came in for his mother's birthday, wearing custom shirts in green, his favorite color.
Staff members worked with Dev's team to organize the blood drive, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Center's pavilion at 6211 IH-10 West.
Posters were set up in doctor's offices across San Antonio promoting the blood drive.
"Putting that in the forefront, letting people know and bringing awareness of the importance of O-negative blood donors, blood donations, is crucial," said Roger Ruiz, of South Texas Blood and Tissue Center.
See an interactive infographic about blood types -- who can donate to whom and which blood types are most rare: **If you're having trouble viewing the infographic click here.
This time of year, donations are historically low.
"Giving blood is one of the most selfless things we can do, and it's one of the easiest things we can do," Gupta said.
Donors can also visit seven donor rooms in San Antonio or New Braunfels. Click here for the locations.
Those interested in setting up an appointment can call The South Texas Blood and Tissue center at 210-731-5555.
USAA is also hosting a blood drive in Dev’s honor through Friday.