A blood drive is being held today (September 29) to honor a Colorado Mesa University student with a rare disease.

Nineteen-year-old Matthew White suffers from Chiari Malformation, a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. Mathew will be having  surgery on his brain and spinal cord at St. Mary's Hospital, but today he's devoting his time to helping others.

Matthew, along with his mom, Lisa, and brother, Daniel is hosting the blood drive today at the Regional Blood Center at 750 Wellington Avenue in Grand Junction. He says his brother came up with the idea, but they wanted to do something for the community and bring some awareness to the disease.

Matthew's family has expressed gratitude for the support of his former teammates on the CMU Rugby team and the Griffins Rugby Team, which is a local grand valley high school team. He's also received support from the CMU Christian Challenge group.

All donors who give blood today 7:00AM-5:30PM  will receive a purple ribbon in honor of those fighting Chiari Malformation. September is Chiari Malformation Disease Awareness Month.