FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Madera mother's plea illustrates the need for blood in Central California.
The Central California Blood Center and the family of 6-year-old Roman encourage people to donate blood over the next few weeks as he heads into open-heart surgery next month.
Roman will be one of the hundreds of people who need blood during recovery.
The family isn't asking for monetary donations. They're just asking for people to donate blood for a fun-loving boy.
"Doctors have mentioned he needs platelets, blood and plasma. If there's none there, what's going to happen to my baby? It's scary to think about," said Anita Marie Guzman-Velasquez, Roman's mother.
Roman will undergo open-heart surgery on May 23 and needs blood, platelets, and plasma transfusions.
The blood center provides blood and services to patients who receive care at 30 hospitals in the Central Valley.
Officials said 5,000 to 6,000 pints of blood must be collected per month.
Right now, donations are crucial because there is a blood shortage affecting centers nationwide.
For more information on how to donate blood, visit the Central California Blood Center's website.