Dozens show local family support through a blood drive, despite coronavirus crisis

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Tuesday at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, there was a blood drive for the Thomasson family who we introduced you to last week.

“I’ve seen, my friends are here, my friends’ parents are here. People that I don’t know are here, and that kind of support just to see obviously our community wants to support Marshall, but also everybody wants to support their town,” Annalee Thomasson said.

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Thomasson’s husband has been battling stage four cancer and her daughter encountered a blood disorder, so transfusions have been lifesaving for them. The family helped arrange a blood drive through the American Red Cross, and the community came through.

“They first opened up 25 spots, and they filled up within like an hour, and I called back and said can we have more? And she said yeah! And they made it 50, and I said I need more,” Thomasson said.

Donor Emily Aberle said she felt a duty to help out.

“I just thought that this is something that I can do, I’m pretty healthy. Fitness, I love to exercise, and I have O positive blood,” Aberle expressed.

American Red Cross Organizer Tayna Tilley-Hall said the coronavirus has really hit the blood supply.

“Across the nation, we’ve canceled 6,000 blood drives because of school closings and other issues, and we’ve lost over 200,000 units of blood that we have scheduled on the books,” Hall said.

Port City Community Church Pastor Mike Ashcraft said they were proud to host the event.

“It was just a way for us to open and be available, and help the community, especially with blood being such an important thing. This is a really simple way for us to be helpful,” Ashcraft said.

American Red Cross also used good, safe social distancing and collected 65 units of blood, but they need more! Reach out to Red Cross to make an appointment to donate by phone, or you can click here.