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  1. ITV Report

Toddler kept alive by the kindness of strangers

Henry Alderson (2) from Colchester is Essex has had 40 blood transfusions.

Henry Alderson from Colchester is Essex has had 40 blood transfusions even though he's yet to celebrate this third birthday.

He needs new blood every three weeks because of a rare bone marrow condition which means his body can produce red blood cells.

He and his family are highlighting the need for more blood donors to come forward in the run-up to Christmas.

NHS Blood and Transplant says in the weeks before Christmas a quarter of people cancel appointments at short notice. One in ten people just don't turn up at all.

With 6,000 donations needed every day, it means stocks can drop to very low levels.

Henry was born with a condition called diamond blackfan anaemia. It means he will need transfusions over the festive period.

His parents Craig and Zoe Alderson say they owe everything to blood donation.

They say his best chance of a long and health life is a bone marrow transplant but for now they rely on regular blood transfusions.

Henry's parents Craig and Zoe Alderson say they owe everything to blood donation.

"He simply wouldn't be here without the kindness of strangers to be honest and we're in their debt really."

– Craig Alderson, Henry's father

"It's us being able to celebrate his third birthday with him next week.

"It's him being able to wake up on Christmas morning and celebrate Christmas because other people are literally giving him the opportunity to live by donating their blood so it's extremely important and we are so grateful for everyone that does."

– Zoe Alderson, Henry's mother