Health Check: Heart recipient promotes importance of giving blood

For 27-year-old Allison Lindgren, walking is a piece of cake.

And she doesn't take it for granted.

That's because when she was a baby she was diagnosed with a rare and fatal form of heart disease.

"I was diagnosed at 15 months old with restrictive cardiomyopathy," Lindgren said. "Originally they had given me a diagnosis of about two years to live."

She defied that diagnosis, but her condition deteriorated.

"I couldn't do anything as a child. I was so tired that I wasn't even sure if I would make it much farther," Lindgren said.

But then something happened. When she was 11, she got a new heart.

Today, she's proud to proclaim she's lived longer with her new heart than her older, weaker one.

"It's like a totally different life. Having a new heart is like having a new life. Basically I can do anything now. I can go to the gym, I can run," Lindgren said.

She said she's thankful to her heart donor. She's also thankful to those who give blood. Both saved her life.

"I had transfusions during my transplantation so I believe it's important for people to go out and donate as often as they can because they are really saving someone's life, and I'm a blood donor recipient so I'm an example of that," Lindgren said.

The NBC 10 Community Blood Drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.

All those who show up to participate will receive a $5 Dunkin' Donuts gift card.