South Mississippians Give Blood For Young Cancer Patient

Outstretched bodies accentuated with gauze of many colors were the main attraction in Edgewater Mall Saturday afternoon.

"I'm overwhelmed. This is unbelievable," said Alissa Cuevas.

What was unbelievable was the large crowd that came to support 11-year old Briana Cuevas, Alissa's daughter.

They came from near and far to give the little girl the gift she needs the most- the gift of life.

"It's just one of those things that you can do to give back to the community and to save lives," said blood donor Jenna Servov.

Many of them felt the same way.

"She's a wonderful little girl, and it just breaks my heart that happened, and I just want to be here to support her. She's a beautiful young lady," said Ida Hammons of Long Beach.

"I have two daughters, one 19 and one 16. And they're healthy, so I've never had to go through this. I can't imagine her parents and grandparents and what they're going through with a sick child," said Janice Howell of Lucedale.

The blood collected at the drive, no matter what the blood type, will serve as blood replacements for Briana while undergoing treatments.

But until that time comes, the guest of honor is simply grateful that many sacrificed their blood for her.

"I'm overwhelmed. Everybody's here, and some people I don't even know saw me on the news and they wanted to come down and it's really helpful. It's really overwhelming," said Briana Cuevas.

Briana will have her second round of chemotherapy, which her mom describes as a heavy dose, on Thursday.

The blood drive sponsored by the Blood Center will continue Sunday from noon until six at Edgewater Mall.