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Wallace High to honor current, former student who battled cancerTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Jessica (Smith) Vapenik
Courtesy Photo­Image
Blake Pelster

As Thanksgiving approaches, many reflect on blessings and look for ways to give back to in their community or to someone less fortunate.

Giving just an hour of your time and donating blood could give a patient needing blood the most valuable gift of all – the gift of life, according to the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross and Wallace High School are encouraging all eligible donors to give back by donating.

On Nov. 27, the WHS student council will host a blood drive to honor current and former students who have battled cancer and required blood products during treatment.

WHS graduate Jessica (Smith) Vapenik will be recognized. Vapenik was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this year and is currently undergoing treatment.

The blood drive also honors junior high student Blake Pelster, the son of Matt and Kassie Pelster. Blake was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3 years old and battled cancer twice. He is now healthy and plays on the Wallace Junior High Wildcats football team.

Blood drive organizers thank the donors who help ensure that blood is available for patients like Blake and Vapenik. Blood collected at the Wallace High School “Gives Thanks Blood Drive” may help many types of patients, including those battling leukemia and other forms of cancer.

Blood may be donated from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the high school, 151 N. Wallace Road. To make an appointment, call the school at 308-387-4323 or visit redcrossblood.org.

All blood types are needed, especially O negative, A negative, B negative and AB positive or negative.

“While the need for blood is ongoing, the supply isn’t – especially around the holidays,” said Tricia Quinn, CEO of the Red Cross Midwest Blood Services Region. “Long holiday weekends pose an extra challenge when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends. Without the generosity of volunteer blood donors, we would not be able to ensure a stable blood supply for patients like Jessica and Blake.”

In appreciation, all who present to give at the Wallace High School drive will receive a red, commemorative Red Cross tee-shirt while supplies last.

How to donate

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years old (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/12/2013
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