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Blood drive to be held in honor of leukemia patient
Parents support drive at crucial time of year for donations
W Anna Hays picture
Three-year-old Anna Hays Polk was diagnosed just two days before her third birthday with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. - photo by Special to the Herald

Thurs., Dec. 22

Mims Monroe Blood Donation Center at East Georgia Regional Medical Center, Suite 307

12:30-5:30pm

Free soup bowl/spoon for donors & Zaxby's Chicken Fingers/Wings Coupon

 

Tuesday, Dec. 28

In Honor of Anna Hays Polk Blood Drive

12:00-6:00 p.m.

First United Methodist Church

Free soup bowl/spoon for donors & Zaxby's Chicken Fingers/Wings Coupon

 

Friday, Dec. 30

Starbucks Coffee Company

12:00-4:00 p.m.

Bloodmobile

This is a Special Event Blood Drive promoting World Aids Awareness

All donors will receive a special tall brew and snack from Starbucks and a soup bowl from the American Red Cross and Zaxby's Chicken Fingers/Wings Coupon.

 

Monday, Jan. 2, 2012

Mims Monroe Blood Donation Center at East Georgia Regional Medical Center, Suite 307

12:30-5:30 p.m.

Zaxby's Chicken Fingers/Wings Coupon

 

Friday, Jan. 6, 2012

Statesboro Kiwanis Club Building

2:00-7:00 p.m.

    For Jody and Rett Polk, it does not take a T-shirt or promotional ad to see blood donations can save lives. Their daughter is enough.
    Three-year-old Anna Hays Polk was diagnosed just two days before her third birthday with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since, the strong-willed girl has faced the disease head-on, overcoming obstacles and providing inspiration for friends and family alike.
    According to parents, it is a story that could not be told without mentioning blood donors whose contributions made treatments for the disease possible.
    So moved have been the Polks that they reached out to the American Red Cross to support a holiday blood drive and help save the lives of others. 
    Enlisting the help of Red Cross volunteer Linda Hubbard, the parents were able to schedule a drive Wednesday, December 28, in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church — the family attends the church.
    “Even though we know the blood from this drive will not go directly to Anna Hays, we feel so honored to have a way to give back to the community,” said Jody Polk, Anna’s mother. “So many people, most of whom we don’t even know, have been donors of the blood that Anna Hays has received.”
    Polk says she has been blown away by the amount of support received and even encouraged to conquer a life-long fear.
“I have never given blood because I have always been afraid of needles,” she said. “Now, after watching my three-year-old go through many procedures involving needles, I am eager to one day give blood myself.”
    According to Nancy Martin, Senior Account Manager with the American Red Cross, the drive could not come at a better time.
    Blood donations routinely drop to troubling levels during the holiday season, as people deal with hectic schedules and schools go on break.
    “It is a seasonal drop,” Martin said. “We are seeing shortages right now. Levels are low.”
    The Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region provides blood to more than 120 hospitals and requires that 1,200 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand, she said.
    Currently, significantly fewer people are donating and both O and B blood types are in shorter supply.
    Martin said all donors are encouraged to contribute during this period of decline.
    Most people at least 17-years-old and in generally good health are eligible to give blood, she said.
    Upcoming drives will be hosted by the Mims Monroe Blood Donation Center at East Georgia Regional Medical Center (Dec. 22 and Jan. 2), First United (Dec. 28) and Starbucks (Dec. 30).
    The Red Cross requests all participants bring a blood donor card or other form of positive ID when coming to donate. Eligible blood donors can call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.
   
    Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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