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Catie's Journey: 'We're having blood transfusions roughly every three weeks'

Catie's Journey: "We're having blood transfusions roughly every three weeks." -- Claudia Coco (WGXA)

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. -- Catie Phillips of Monroe County is only 4-years-old -- but is strong beyond her years.

See, Catie was diagnosed with Congenital Sideroblastic Anemia -- a rare form of anemia that requires regular blood transfusions -- and has already had 92 blood transfusions.

Basically, her life depends on other's donating blood, her parents Michelle and Greggory Phillips say.

"Chances were slim that she would make it through the night," Greggory Phillips said, thinking back to April 2014 when Catie was born weighing barely over four pounds.

Almost four years later, Greggory and Michelle have had sleepless nights and some of the scariest moments of their lives. But Catie is their ultimate blessing.

"I feel like Gregg and I were chosen for a special reason to raise her," Michelle Phillips said.

Greggory said they travel to Augusta for every blood transfusion.

"We're having blood transfusions roughly every three weeks," he said. "And sometimes it's at the two-week mark, sometimes we make it to the five-week mark."

Greggory said Catie is proof of just how important it is to give blood.

"Literally, that 20 minutes or that 30 minutes of your life is literally her lifetime," he said. "So without somebody giving 30 minutes, we don't have her."

Michelle said Catie's story impacts everyone she meets.

"It inspired her teacher the other day to start go making blood donations," she said. "Just seeing her, just seeing how remarkable she is."

Michelle said they have early days and late nights, but it's a battle they will fight as a family.

"This is our norm," she said. "Again like Gregg said, everybody wonders how we do it -- well, we just do it!"

Greggory hopes if there is one thing people learn from Catie, it's to be aware and thoughtful of everyone around you.

"You never know the battle that somebody's facing -- and she's facing quite a big one," Greggory said.

Catie's bedroom was redone by Room's From the Heart -- an organization that redecorates bedroom's for critically-ill children. Her room is now Minnie Mouse themed -- and very pink, which is her favorite color.

If you want to donate blood, you can click here for more information.


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