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10-year-old boy hopes for blood donations at NBC 10 Holiday Blood Drive

Matthew Musula, 10, who has sickle cell disease, isyet another reason to give the gift of life at our annual NBC 10 Holiday Blood Drive. (WJAR) 

There’s yet another reason to give the gift of life at our annual NBC 10 Holiday Blood Drive.

It's for those battling an inherited group of red blood cell disorders known as sickle cell disease.

Right now, there is no cure.

But your blood donations can provide for a more normal life.

Matthew Musula, 10, of Providence is at Hasbro Children’s Hospital every single month.

"Usually for two hours," he said.

He’s here getting a blood exchange. Matthew was born with sickle cell disease and diagnosed a few weeks after birth.

Matthew has blood cells that can become sickled and get stuck in his blood vessels causing pain and organ damage.

“It feels like I'm going through something that I've never gone through. Like bones breaking,” Matthew said of the pain.

His first real bout was at six months.

“He started getting crisis mostly on his hands,” said his mother, Lydia Musula. “They would swell and he would be in a lot of pain and basically got transfused every single month."

Matthew was often hospitalized in between transfusions, which was tiring and frustrating.

Then, four years ago, instead of transfusions, they began doing blood exchanges on Matthew.

"So, instead of just having blood put in, we can take out some blood, take out his blood, take out the bad stuff and give him blood that's not sickled,” said Lydia.

"That's why we say, ‘When you give, one whole blood donation it can help save three people,’” said Kara LeBlanc of the Rhode Island Blood Center. “We take that donation and we break it specifically in to red cells, which Matthew is getting today.:

"I mean, look at my son. It's given him life. He's able to go on vacation. We're able to go away without worrying what will happen," said Lydia.

And Matthew has a simple request.

"Come out and give blood -- for me and others,” he said.

You can help make a difference in the life of Matthew and others by donating at our NBC 10 Holiday Blood Drive on December18 from 11a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. All presenting donors will receive a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.

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