Six-year-old Hunter Kuzik will be receiving blood this Christmas, and in the meantime is encouraging all Edmonton area residents to give it as a gift to others.

The Grade 1 student was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan anemia at only two months old; his body doesn’t produce red blood cells and receives a blood transfusion every three weeks.

“He’s doing really well and that’s because of blood transfusions,” said his mother, Carrie. “If it weren’t for the blood transfusions, he wouldn’t be here.”

The pair were on hand at the Canadian Blood Donor Clinic yesterday to help launch the annual holiday blood drive.

“Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean he doesn’t require transfusions,” Carrie said of her son, who will return for his next transfusion Dec. 23. “The need is all year round and the need will continue.”