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Local Blood Drive to Honor Man That is Defying the Odds

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- On Jan. 4, Brandon Riddle and his family will recognize the blood and organ donors who have helped save his life. The American Red Cross and Ozarks Area Racers are partnering for the third annual blood drive in his honor.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- On Jan. 4, Brandon Riddle and his family will recognize the blood and organ donors who have helped save his life. The American Red Cross and Ozarks Area Racers are partnering for the third annual blood drive in his honor.

On Thanksgiving Day 1984, Riddle was diagnosed with biliary atresia. He was just five days old. According to the American Liver Foundation, the condition causes infants' bile ducts to become obstructed, and the digestive fluid is blocked in the liver. The trapped liquid begins to rapidly destroy liver cells.

Riddle faced major surgery just weeks after birth. In the 29 years since, he's received three liver transplants and, just recently, a kidney transplant the day before Thanksgiving 2013. Throughout his treatments and operations, he has received more than 500 pints of blood products.

"We consider this a way to give back to help others who might need blood," said Regina Riddle, Brandon's mother. "You know, Brandon has required so many blood products to help him. We want to do our part to give some of that back."

Despite the challenges he has faced, his family describes him as perhaps the happiest and healthiest he has ever been. Now that he has received his kidney transplant, Brandon is looking forward to marrying his fiancée in the near future. He will celebrate the second anniversary of his third liver transplant the day after the 27th Annual Ozarks Area Racers Reunion, which is also the day of the blood drive.

"Brandon's story is a reminder that donors help real people by giving blood," said Marci Manley, spokesperson for the Red Cross Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region. "Blood donors help give patients like Brandon a chance to make those memories many of us can take for granted. One hour and one donation can play a role in giving a lifetime of stories to someone else."

The drive honoring Riddle will be from 9 am to 3 pm at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative, B negative and AB positive or negative.


(American Red Cross, Greater Ozarks- Arkansas)

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