CHICAGO (CBS) — A Waukegan woman whose son has been battling sickle cell anemia all his life has teamed up with LifeSource to encourage more African-Americans to donate blood.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports 12-year-old son, Kenney Moore, was diagnosed with sickle cell at just six weeks old. Five years ago, he suffered a stroke.

His mother, Hazel Truesdell, said he’s battled back from that, but still needs blood transfusions every three-to-five weeks.

“They take out the sickle blood, and put in fresh blood,” she said.

Truesdell said the odds of a good result go up if the donor and recipient are of the same race, so to encourage more African Americans to donate, she’s teaming up with LifeSource for a blood drive in Kenney’s honor on Saturday.

With everything her son has been through in his young life, Truesdell said Kenney is an amazing kid.

“Very outspoken; my little comedian. He challenges everything. From day one, he fights like a grown person. You would never know the things he goes through,” she said.

Truesdell said the blood drive on Saturday in North Chicago is for Kenney, but also for other sick children.

“I’m trying to bring awareness to African-Americans, because we rarely donate blood,” she said. “Only five percent of us donate, which is horrible.”

The sickle cell blood drive is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the gym of Katzenmaier Elementary School in North Chicago.