Unyts Blood Drive to Help Patients like Naliah Codjovi

Updated: 5/16/2014
Naliah Codjovi cuddles up to Sully, a character from Monsters Inc., during a transfusion visit at Women & Children’s Hospital.

Naliah Codjovi is a typical outgoing and fun-loving 7-year-old, yet she’s dealing with a very serious illness. 

Naliah suffers from sickle cell disease, a blood disorder characterized by abnormally shaped red blood cells that obstruct the cells’ ability to carry oxygenated blood throughout the body.  The cells are sticky and when clumped together can block blood flow leading to “pain crisis”, or painful swelling of the chest, arms and legs.  In serious cases, the blocked blood flow can lead to stroke.

Therefore, Naliah must receive regular blood transfusions at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.  As the healthy blood begins to circulate, Naliah’s pain crisis decreases, as does her risk of stroke.

“It means a lot to know that Unyts helps in providing the blood that Naliah and other children need to keep them healthy and make them feel better,” said Tarsha Graham, Naliah’s mom.   “It benefits not only children with chronic illnesses, but also children and adults who find themselves in unexpected need.”

Unyts is WNY’s only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center, and the primary supplier of blood to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. All blood donated to Unyts stays in WNY for local patients at local hospitals, helping to save the tiniest of lives.

“I urge others to donate because my daughter and many other children benefit a whole lot from this precious gift given by others,” said Tarsha.

Show your support for Naliah and all other patients in need of blood throughout Western New York by donating at the Unyts blood drive at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo on Monday, May 19 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. in Alford Auditorium. All presenting donors will be entered to win a Monster's Inc. movie themed basket.  To schedule an appointment visit www.unyts.org, Click the “Give Blood” icon and enter Sponsor Code 1070, or call Martha Hickey, Hospital Relations Manager, at 878-7221.