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'It’s the most selfless gift': 12-year-old's story inspires others to give blood

If it wasn't for blood donors, McKenzie Covert would not be the thriving 12-year-old she is today. She shares her story on how giving blood saves so much.
Posted at 9:58 AM, Jun 10, 2024

WACO, Texas (KXXV) — McKenzie Covert is a thriving 12-year-old who loves volleyball and soccer. She had a three-year battle with a rare form of leukemia at just 3-years-old. Blood donations helped her survive.

  • If it weren't for blood and platelet donations, she wouldn't have won her battle with cancer.
  • Her mission is to spread awareness of the importance of blood donations.


At first glance, you wouldn’t think anything’s wrong with McKenzie Covert, but in her 12 years, she’s gone through so much.

“It was hard and we were in the hospital a lot,” Carter BloodCare patient McKenzie Covert said.

Being diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at just 3-years-old.

“The first few months, they really hit you hard with the chemo,” her mother Tiffany Covert said.

Because treatment was difficult and her body wasn’t responding well, she was moved up to high-risk status.

“There are many times that she had to be put on a chemo hold because her counts weren’t high enough to receive the treatments, and that’s when she would have to receive blood donations and she would have to receive platelet donations to get her counts back up,” Tiffany said.

That’s where Carter BloodCare comes in— if it wasn’t for the blood donated by our community, McKenzie wouldn’t have been able to win her cancer battle.

“She would have not been able to continue with treatment because her body would not have been able to handle the chemo treatments,” Tiffany said.

“She started doing well and two and a half years of treatment, it was tough, she had lots of hospital stays, lots of transfusions, things like that,” her father Jeff Covert said.

Her parents have been regular donors ever since.

Now, McKenzie is thriving as a rising seventh-grade athlete, grateful for gift that blood donations gave her.

“It’s the most selfless gift, all you have to do is give up an hour or so of a day every couple of months and it can help save a life,” Tiffany said.

“People like me with cancer and stuff, to help them out, to help them get cancer-free, blood is really important,” McKenzie said.