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Video: 100 Donate in Molly's Clayton Blood Drive

A Clayton teenager saved by blood transfusion 15 years ago works to give back to the community that once saved her.

More than 100 people turned out to donate blood at Diablo View Middle School in support of Clayton Valley High School sophomore Molly Avilez's third annual blood drive, according to the American Red Cross. 

Molly, 15, a member of the school's Public Service Academy, was accidentally run over by a car in 1997 when she was 17 months old.

After arriving at Oakland's Children's Hospital 15 years ago missing 50 percent of the blood in her system, with a collapsed lung and severed liver, doctors were able to begin saving Molly's life by transfusing blood before she even made it to the operating room.

The event, titled "Keep Paying it forward" is "... just my way of paying back," Molly told Patch during Thursday's event.

The approximately 86 units of blood collected that afternoon -- just over 10 gallons -- is below the goal of Molly and the Red Cross of surpassing last year's collection of 115 units, but more than double the national average of 32 units per donation drives, said Justin Mueller, director of Donor Resources Development at the Red Cross.

"We had such great turnout the first two years that we geared up and brought extra staff and resources this time around," said Mueller. "This way donors don't have to wait in lines and are sure to have a smooth experience."

Molly's first blood drive, which she organized as part of a leadership project in eighth grade, yielded approximately 80 units of blood and the second, 115 units.

"The sense of community is fantastic here in Clayton," said Mueller. "It is, unfortunately, unusual, but we're lucky to have it."

What's next for Molly?

She tells Patch she will continue to organize blood drives and looks forward to joining Clayton Valley High School's leadership team and the American Red Cross Youth Program sometime next year. 

"I also want to become somebody important with the Red Cross and help run it someday," said Molly. 

"At the rate she's going, I'll probably report to her some day," said Mueller.

Interested in donating or participating with the Red Cross? Visit www.redcross.org.

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