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Kearney Teen Helping to Save Lives by Coordinating Local Blood Drives

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A Kearney teen is making a difference by coordinating blood drives to help save lives.

Anna Kahle says she does it from the kindness of her heart, but knows about the need for blood all too well. Her father was once told he had just six months to live; transfusions from the American Red Cross are part of the reason why he's still here fifteen years later.

"It's really powerful to think about all the lives you touched with something as little as getting your arm poked," said Kahle Red Cross blood drive coordinator.

Kahle says she calls and texts everyone she knows to get people out to donate. She's hosted about five drives already, and says her father -- a cancer survivor -- may not have been around if it wasn't for these donations.

"A lot of cancer patients constantly need blood," she said.

So she says she's giving back to the Red Cross, after they gave so much to her.

"After it’s all over and done, you would have helped save three lives,” Kahle said.

Her father was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer 15 years ago and doctors gave him six months to live.

"I had a time line put on me," said Anna's father Steve Kahle. "Most people don't know when they are going to die."

He says within 16 months he beat cancer.

"Felt like it was something, we had to fight,” Steve said.

He’s now fully healthy and says he gives his blood, hoping to help the next person.

"It was a big part of our lives because it could have been so different," Steve said.

Laurel Badura says she donates about five times a year to support Anna as well, but says once she was also in need.

"When I was younger I had an accident and it required a blood transfusion," Badura said. "It saved my life."

She says just thirty minutes out of her day helps so many others.

Anna says there's an app that tracks where your donation is going.

"I got an email the other day saying one of my donations went to Massachusetts," Anna said.

She says she will be attending UNL next year and plans to continue supporting those in need through the organization offered on campus.

"I don't think if the drives were at my school I would be as involved as I am," Anna said.

According to the American Red Cross, high school and college students make up about 20 percent of blood donations collected each year.

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