Blood drive held in memory of regular donor

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 resident gone but not forgotten, is still managing to help others. Staff of the NEA Baptist Clinic Wellness Center hosted a blood drive from three to seven on Monday.

The drive was held in honor of former trainer and exercise instructor, Dee Shoemaker. Shoemaker was tragically killed in an accident while running.

Friends and family say Shoemaker felt strongly about donating blood and platelets, so what better way to honor her memory than continuing something she believed in.

Steve Bowen, Director of the NEA Wellness Center knew Dee well, "She was very outspoken and considerate of others needs, "Bowen said. "One of the things she wanted to do, and did consistently and had her daughters do consistently, was donate blood. She was a regular at the Red Cross. Every time they had a blood drive and she was able to donate she did. "

Donating was something Shoemaker believed strongly in and encouraged others to do. Donor Resources for the American Red Cross, Bob Draper, says people like Shoemaker are important. Without their generosity, they can't help others. "We need blood every day, " Draper said. "Of all types, especially Os. We don't plan for emergencies. It could be a loved one, a fellow worker, someone we know that needs some type of blood or blood component. And we can't do it without the help of residents rolling up their sleeves and giving the gift of life."

Bowen says Shoemaker was someone who was very energetic and constantly helping others. "She was a very positive person. We used to call her GI Jane. Her energy was phenomenal. From her exercise routine to the way she taught her classes to the way she passed that along to her clients. She was just a phenomenal person and we've missed her."

Bowen says Shoemaker gave blood every time she heard about or came across a blood drive.

Draper says people like Shoemaker are the ones who make a difference in the lives of so many by being a regular donor. "The shelf life of blood is only forty-two days and a person can give blood only once every fifty-six days. So, as we say, the need is constant."

This blood drive is an annual event. The American Red Cross supplies seventy-five hospitals with blood in our area.

That requires them to gather no less than five hundred units of blood a day. For additional information about the blood drive or the NEA Baptist Clinic Wellness Center, call 932-1898 or log onto their website.

For more information about the American Red Cross, log onto their site.

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