9-year-old Nacogdoches Co. cancer survivor knows importance of blood donation

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A healthy Lexie Nichols and her mother, Leslie, encourage you to participate in next week's KTRE-TV and the Blood Center of East Texas Blood Drive.

If nine-year-old Lexie Nichols of Nacogdoches County ever needs help of any kind, she'll have lots of people who will say, "Got your back."

No one knows that better than Leslie Nichols, Lexie's mom.

"To this day, I can't say the words that, how the community of garrison and our church pulled together," Leslie said. "And they continue to do it for other families when it happens."

When Lexie was two and half years old she was diagnosed with leukemia.

Leslie, who lost an eight- year-old sister to cancer, knows every milestone date. The first revealing blood test.

"Dec. 13, 2006."

The length of treatments.

"She was under treatments for about two and half years."

Those treatments included numerous blood transfusions.

"She had about 21 units of blood and platelets total received," Leslie said.

The devoted mom remembers the first blood transfusion the best.

"It was on December 27th, a couple of days after Christmas," Leslie said. And I remember looking up at the bag, and it said donor bag, and I got this overwhelming just peace of, 'Oh my gosh, somebody that maybe I know has donated blood.' And it really is the gift of life. It is truly saving my daughter's life."

Just ask Leslie how she knows.

"On April of 2009, she took her last medication," Leslie said.

Lexie can now enjoy her love for animals, drawing, and American Girl dolls. There's always enough compassion left for those who are sick.

"I would like for them to survive," Lexie said.

Gratefulness is what this tight knit family is all about.

Lexie said if she got a chance to speak to the person who donated the blood, she would say, "Thank you for saving my life."

KTRE-TV and the Blood Center of East Texas are joining forces for a blood drive on July 2 from 12-6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 at the Brookshire Bros. store located in the Gaslight Plaza Shopping Center (1807 W. Frank Street).

For those wanting to donate some day other than July 2, the Blood Center's Lufkin Neighborhood Donor Center is located at 202 S. Franklin. That location's hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

In Nacogdoches, the donor center is located at 3520 N. University Drive. The hours at that location are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

For more information on donating, visit the Blood Center of East Texas Website.

As Leslie said, it's a simple gift that doesn't cost you anything

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