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      Donating blood in honor of teenage girl

      The community came together on this Saturday to help out a girl who is a true fighter.

      17-year-old Ashley Mayer of Edina is autistic and has down syndrome. In 2010, she was diagnosed with leukemia and went into treatment.

      During that time, ashley needed blood donations due to her low blood cell and platelets count. But when her mother, Carla Mayer, saw the blood shortage, she and her friends wanted to do something and began an annual Red Cross Blood Drive in Kirksville.

      Saturday was the fourth annual event done in Ashley's name to stress the importance of donating blood.

      "It means a lot to us. That's the reason we started it. We want to help those other people and children that are fighting this disease. It means the world to me that we have people who do this for us every year," Mayer said.

      Ashley is now in remission from leukemia and enjoys her time being a kid and student at Knox County High School.

      About 44 units of blood were donated at the blood drive event.