DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Baby Aubrey Rose is only a few months old, but has seen more challenges in her life than most see in decades.
Aubrey was born with a congenital heart defect, a hole in her heart, meaning her body can't get the oxygen it needs. At just eight days old, the baby girl underwent a 16-hour surgery, the first of three she will likely have before her third birthday.
There's one more complication. Aubrey has undergone more than a dozen blood transfusions, but she has a rare blood type, O-negative, shared with only 7 percent of people in the U.S. Unfortunately, blood supplies of this type tend to be low.
While Aubrey's parents stay by her side at the New Orleans Children's Hospital, her grandmother, Kristi DeLeon, is on a mission to help re-stock south Louisiana's blood supplies. She has been organizing blood drives in Aubrey's name.
"There are so many other people out there right now who need O-negative and other types, so it's helping everybody," said DeLeon.
According to the Blood Center, one donation can help up to three people by dividing the donation into platelets, plasma, and red blood cells. Even donors who do not share Aubrey's blood type can help the family by donating blood to the Blood Center in her name. For every donation given, the Blood Center gives her family some financial aid to help with things such as travel expenses while they go back and forth from the hospital.
Another blood drive for Aubrey will be held Friday, May 19 at the Walmart in Denham Springs from 2 to 7 p.m.
Aubrey's family has also set up a You Caring fund. Click here to donate.