CLAYTON (CBS SF) – A Clayton Valley High School student celebrated her Sweet Sixteen birthday this week by holding a blood drive, on Thursday.

Molly Avila has been working with the American Red Cross to organize blood drives since 2009, when she embarked on the effort as a project for a leadership program she was in at school, Red Cross spokesman Jared Schultzman said.

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She was inspired, at least in part, by an event in her own life. When she was 17 months old, she was run over by a car and suffered a collapsed lung and a severed liver. She needed blood transfusions.

Schultzman said that while Avila may not remember the traumatic event, because she was so young, it made an impact on her.

“She’s aware that she lost 50 percent of the blood in her body,” he said.

Avila has helped organize three blood drives for the Red Cross, but the last one, held Jan. 5 at Diablo View Middle School, came up short of its collection goal.

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So she decided to organize a “supplemental” drive on her 16th birthday. Avila chose the day because at age 16, she would be allowed to give blood herself for the first time, Schultzman said.

However, he said, it turns out Avila doesn’t yet weigh enough to donate under Red Cross guidelines so her donation will have to wait.

Nonetheless, the birthday blood drive went on Thursday, in the parking lot of Travel To Go at 5439 Clayton Road.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

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