The University of Georgia Alumni Association and the University of South Carolina’s My Carolina Alumni Association are teaming up with the American Red Cross to host a “Border Bash” blood drive to honor Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old UGA alumna and West Georgia graduate student who was hospitalized after contracting a rare flesh decaying infection in May. Copeland’s father, Andy, is a University of South Carolina alumnus.
UGA’s blood drive will be held June 13 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in Memorial Hall and from 2-7 p.m. in Reed Hall. Along with the Alumni Association, the drive is being sponsored by UGA Students for the American Red Cross and the department of university housing. Presenting blood donors will have an opportunity to sign a card for Copeland, and the Red Cross will mail it to her family.
In addition, the UGA Alumni Association is challenging all alumni nationwide to donate blood in Copeland’s honor June 11-15 at any Red Cross blood donation center or drive. Pictures and well wishes can be posted on Copeland’s Facebook Page or sent through Twitter using hash tag #ugaforaimee or #uscforaimee.
“This is a great opportunity for UGA alumni and anyone who wants to honor Aimee by helping to save lives,” said Randy Edwards, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region. “Giving the gift of life is priceless, and it’s a special way to honor this courageous young woman.”
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. The American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to patients in more than 120 hospitals. Approximately 1,200 people need to give blood or platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand.
The Red Cross indicates that blood can be safely donated every 56 days, and platelets can be donated every seven days or up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older-or 16 with parental consent-who weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger also must meet specific height and weight requirements.
A “Border Bash” Facebook Page is available at http://www.facebook.com/UGAvsUSCBorderBash. For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 800/RED CROSS (800/733-2767) or see www.redcrossblood.org.