A P.E.I. woman whose life was saved by a blood transfusion earlier this year is launching a blood donation drive.

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Rachelle Kelly says once she is able she will donate blood as often as she can. (Maggie Brown/CBC)

Last January, during her son's birth, Rachelle Kelly needed about 100 units of blood to help keep her alive. The average person only has about 12 units of blood in their body. Kelly lost all of her body's supply of blood many times over during labour.

"I guess that's why I feel so compelled to give it back," she said.

Kelly is asking friends and family and anyone else who hears her story to donate in her name.

"Every single person who donated one of those 100 units, walked out and didn't know it was going to me, and didn't know it was going to save a mother's life. But they did," she said.

Kelly has set a target of 300 units in donations to replace what she used, and then some more.

Canadian Blood Services spokeswoman Michelle Thibodeau said every year there are a handful of Islanders who hold their own blood drives.

"It helps the donors connect with a face and actually put a face to the gift they're giving," said Thibodeau.

"On the other side it's a wonderful opportunity for a recipient to go ahead and find a way to say thank you and to give back."

Kelly has also agreed to be the face of the Canadian Blood Services' Christmas campaign on P.E.I. this year. Kelly said when she's able to she will donate blood, as often as she can.

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