North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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March 8, 2013

Mother organizes blood drive in daughter's memory

GARDENDALE — A north Jefferson County mother is carrying on one of her daughter’s final wishes, and helping many others in the process.

Lisa Adams is helping organize the third annual Roxanne Adams Memorial Blood Drive. Roxanne died in May 2011 after being sick for a year.

Adams said Roxanne never received a clear diagnosis of what made her so sick, but contributing to her illness was gastroparesis, which caused her digestive organs to shut down.

The first blood drive was actually Roxanne’s idea. The teen required multiple blood transfusions, so her wish for her 17th birthday was to have a blood drive. The event was not for herself; but a general drive for all blood types.

The first one was held in the parking lot of Walgreen’s in Gardendale, with Roxanne in attendance. LifeSouth workers collected 19 units of blood.

“They had to defer 30 people because they weren’t prepared for the turnout,” Adams said.

Seven weeks later, Roxanne died.

A year later, the Adams family hosted another blood drive, that time collecting 55 units of blood.

“Every year, we commemorate her birthday with a blood drive,” Adams said. “It was something she was very passionate about. We want to carry that torch for her as long as we can.”

The goal for this year is to have more than 100 units donated.

The memorial blood drive is April 6, 11 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m., at the Gardendale Civic Center.

[Updated at 5:15 p.m. with photo.]

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