MESA, Ariz. - Mia McPoland is one of the spunkiest, energetic and one-of-a-kind teens.
"I love riding horses. I love swimming. I love hanging out with friends," she said.
But she’s doing something incredible that not many other teenagers do, she is fighting a rare disease.
McPoland was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare disorder that prevents her body from producing red blood cells. She has received 150 blood transfusions in her lifetime.
"I was diagnosed when I was six weeks old," McPoland said. "I’ve lived with this my whole life."
At a time when giving is on most people’s minds, Arizona’s blood supply hits its lowest point during the holidays.
The 10 hardest days of the year to maintain Arizona’s blood supply begins on Christmas Eve and runs past New Year's day.
There are hundreds of kids like Mia who depend on blood transfusions to survive.
Supplies of O-negative, the universal blood type, have declined leaving less than a one-day supply on the shelves to support patients in 64 Arizona hospitals.
"You could truly save someone’s life, especially during Christmas time because we don’t get a lot of blood donors," McPoland said, "and if you donate blood, you can give someone the chance to go home for Christmas. It’s very important."
For the month of December, any blood donors can also get a free 14-inch cheese pizza courtesy of Streets of New York.