Blood drive for 4-year-old leukemia patient

STUART, FL (FLORIDA'S BLOOD CENTERS) - One look at little Xiomara's face is all it takes for her to steal your heart. With her big brown eyes, rosy cheeks and dark curly hair, she is as cute as they come. It's no wonder her nickname is "Cookie".

But Xiomara "Cookie" Rodriguez is far from living a normal life. For the last two years, she has been battling leukemia. That has meant a childhood consumed by hospital stays, doctor's visits, medicines, chemotherapy, radiation and numerous blood transfusions.

Xiomara's treatment has put a strain on the Rodriguez-Escudero's, a family who was already facing economic hardship.

That's why the Louis Lino Foundation has teamed up with Florida's Blood Centers to hold a blood drive in honor of Xiomara as well as a fundraising event to help her family.

All registered participants will receive free pizza and drinks from Big Apple Pizza and will be eligible to win Miami Dolphins tickets and other prizes. Also, Big Apple Pizza-Stuart will donate all the proceeds (from 4-7p.m.) to the Rodriguez-Escudero family.

When: Thursday, October 29 2009
Time: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Big Apple Pizza, 3725 SE Ocean Blvd. Stuart

Any person who has ever considered giving blood to please contact Florida's Blood Centers. Blood donations help save the lives of people needing routine surgery, trauma patients, premature babies and cancer patients at local hospitals who depend on those donations for life-saving blood transfusions. The patient needing blood transfusions could be your neighbor, a family member or even yourself.

The public is encouraged to call 1-888-9DONATE for center locations to make a donation.  Check out eligibility questions on our web site at