Little Waukesha Girl Inspiring Blood Donations at the Milwaukee County Zoo

To see Zoe Nuedling of Waukesha all dressed up in her holiday finest, you'd never know the ordeal the five year old has already endured.

Three open heart surgeries.

Her mother Kaleena remembers it well and was paying it forward by donating blood at the 15th Annual Season of Giving Blood Drive for the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

The two day event is at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Donors get a voucher for a free zoo visit.

But it was giving kids like Zoe a fighting chance that seems to be the true motivator.

"We will most likely need more blood in the future," Kaleena told CBS 58 News. "Hopefully she'll enjoy life to the fullest as long as we can have her."

The Blood Center says donations took a hit with Monday's storm at a time when donations are usually down because of holiday travel.

The hope is that those staying close to home who are at least 16 and 110 pounds and healthy will stop by between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30th for the second day of the drive.

The entire process takes about an hour.

You can call for an appointment or just walk in.

"Your blood usually stays right here in Southeast Wisconsin," says Tara Lagerman of the Blood Center. "It could be your neighbor, aunt or uncle. It goes to anyone. Seeing Kaleena and Zoe really puts a face on where your blood donation goes."

The drive has been set up at the Peck Center at the Milwaukee County Zoo,  10001 West Blue Mound Road in Milwaukee.

For more information or to make an l appointment, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO. 


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