Blood drive draws 100+

The Star Democrat - - FRONT PAGE -

When the non­profit Amy’s Army be­gan or­ga­niz­ing a blood drive in mem­ory of the late Amy Stoops Rhodes, the group’s goal was to reg­is­ter 100 donors. The in­au­gu­ral event drew 102 donors, a tremen­dous boost to the blood sup­ply shortly af­ter the slow hol­i­day pe­riod.

QUEEN­STOWN — When the non­profit Amy’s Army be­gan or­ga­niz­ing a blood drive in mem­ory of the late Amy Stoops Rhodes, the group’s goal was to reg­is­ter 100 donors for the Jan. 6 event.

Blood Bank of Del­mar va likes to see at least 35 donors come out for a blood drive. Amy’s Army drew 102 donors on its first try, a tremen­dous boost to the blood sup­ply shortly af­ter the slow hol­i­day pe­riod. The event was chaired by Melissa Dodd, Cara Smith and Lind­say New­comb.

“Amy was amaz­ing in the com­mu­nity and we knew we were go­ing to have an amaz­ing turnout,” Dodd said. “They’re sup­port­ing us, Amy’s Army and we’re ex­tremely pleased and Amy was a blood donor her­self.”

On Oct. 10, 2015, Amy Stoops mar­ried Ja­son Rhodes on their fam­ily farm. Just 13 days later, on Oct. 23, Amy was taken to Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Emer­gency Cen­ter at Queen­stown, suf­fer­ing from se­vere head pain.

She was flown to Univer­sity of Mary­land Shock Trauma with a rup­tured ar­te­ri­ove­nous mal­for­ma­tion, or AVM. Pre­vi­ously un­di­ag­nosed, doc­tors found a tan­gle of blood ves­sels in Amy’s brain had hem­or­rhaged. Af­ter many surg­eries, Amy died on Christ­mas Eve 2015.

Amy’s Army was cre­ated to re­mem­ber the kind, funny, com­pas­sion­ate, and fiercely ded­i­cated per­son she was to those she loved.

The blood drive was held at Amer­i­can Le­gion Post #296 in Queen­stown and drew a mix of vet­eran blood donors like Chip Coun­cell (Dodd’s fa­ther) and first­time donors like David Wenck.

“Those girls worked hard for this and it looks like it’s a suc­cess,” Coun­cell said in the midst of the hus­tle and bus­tle.

Wenck do­nated on his birth­day in lieu of his wife, Kathy, who learned she did not meet the min­i­mum weight of 110 pounds to give blood dur­ing check in.

“I’m cel­e­brat­ing by giv­ing back to some­one else af­ter 54 years of life,” Wenck said. “It won’t be any good to­mor­row,” he added in jest.

The late Amy Rhodes’ hus­band, Ja­son, as well as her mother, Bar­bara Stoops, along with her fa­ther and mother in law, Billy and Char­lene Rhodes, do­nated at the drive as well.

“It warms my heart to see how these young peo­ple have or­ga­nized this,” Bar­bara Stoops said. “It’s just amaz­ing. These girls are ab­so­lutely amaz­ing.”

“When Amy was in the hospi­tal she had a lot of trans­fu­sions,” Ja­son Rhodes said. “Peo­ple care be­cause Amy touched a lot of peo­ple. It’s a good thing.”

Sev­eral peo­ple were also at the drive be­cause they were a friend of one of the mem­bers of Amy’s Army, in­clud­ing peo­ple like Su­san Sanger and Heather Smith.

“It’s a great com­mu­nity event that we can all con­nect to,” Sanger said.

Amy’s Army of­fi­cials thanked the Bene­dict A. An­drew Amer­i­can Le­gion for al­low­ing them to use the space needed for Sun­day’s blood drive.

The Amy’s Army Blood Drive also sold out of 175 pork din­ners in two hours, with pro­ceeds go­ing to help a lo­cal wo­man bat­tling cancer.

BBD serves all 19 hos­pi­tals in the Del­marva Penin­sula and must main­tain a seven-day sup­ply of all blood types. To learn more about do­nat­ing or host­ing a blood drive, visit www.del­mar­v­ablood.org.

PHO­TOS COUR­TESY OF AN­TO­NIO PRADO

Amy’s Army Blood Drive drew 102 donors on Sun­day, Jan. 6, hon­or­ing the mem­ory of Amy Stoops Rhodes.

Melissa Dodd and Lins­day New­comb co-chaired the Amy’s Army Blood Drive with Cara Smith.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.