CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Sunday, people rolled up their sleeves to donate blood and also help families dealing with childhood cancer. Both are causes a Cary family is passionate about after their children were born with multiple rare genetic disorders.

Yash Krishnan and his little sister Ira were born with an extremely rare genetic condition that makes children susceptible to cancer.

“Basically, what that means is they will keep getting cancer throughout their lifetime,” explained mom, Parvathy Krishnan. The children were also born with bleeding disorders.

“It’s like we hit the worst genetic lottery,” Krishnan added.

The family has faced unthinkable challenges with strength and gratitude.

“We are so thankful for the medical community and strangers in our own community who went above and beyond to give blood and plasma,” noted Krishnan. “Our son is alive today thanks to the strangers who donated blood.”

Yash is now 14, and his mom says he’s believed to be the only one in the world with his particular type of genetic mutation.

“He’s a fighter, and he’s a survivor of colon, rectal, ampullary, and small bowel cancer,” his mom explained.

Ira, who had additional complex medical conditions, died when she was just 4, but Krishnan credits blood and plasma donations for giving her precious time.

“Our daughter would not have had the four years she had with us if not for that,” she said.

When the Krishnans were approached about supporting blood drives that also help families dealing with childhood cancer, they didn’t hesitate

“For us, it was a double win because it was a combination of doing something for the bleeding disorder our children had, and also giving back to cancer research,” Krishnan said.

For each person who gives blood during two drives this week, the Blood Connection will make a donation to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which funds research and helps families of children with cancer. The Krishnan Family foundation will match those donations.

The first blood drive took place Sunday at UNC. The second is on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Amberly Community Gymnasium at1075 Resident Club Drive in Cary. It runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
To make an appointment, click here.