The fourth annual Roxanne Adams Memorial Blood Drive will be held March 29, 2014 inside the Gardendale Civic Center (970 Main St. in Gardendale, Al) from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Salvation Army is proud to be a sponsor of this event that hopes to collect as many units of blood as possible for LifeSouth to distribute in our area. Each unit has the capability of saving three lives.
Donors will receive a one week trial membership to Tri-Star Fitness, hot dogs, chips and a drink. A few lucky ones will also receive a special birthday present. Bring the kids and while you donate they can be at our crafts table making cards for patients at Children’s Hospital.
If you can’t make it by that day, it’s ok, you can still donate in Roxanne’s honor any time throughout 2014 with LifeSouth. Just be sure to mention “Roxanne Adams” as the reason you are donating.
At 17, Roxanne Adams battled a mysterious disease that required many blood transfusions to keep her alive. She had spent most of the year between the age of 16 and 17 in one hospital or another. As she approached her 17th birthday, Roxanne was so very thankful to be alive and have her mother and friends by her side. So when asked what she wanted for her birthday, it wasn’t about gifts or money.
Instead, Roxanne wanted everyone capable and willing to make at least one blood donation on her birthday which was two weeks away. So from her hospital room, armed with her cellphone and a legion of friends, she organized a large scale blood drive to help others in her community.
Her last selfless act on this earth saved many lives. Roxanne Adams passed away seven weeks after that first blood drive, but her gift of life for others will live forever. The annual blood drive is now in memory of her incredible efforts during a very difficult time in her own life. The following is the letter she wrote right before the first event:
“My Only Birthday Wish”
(A letter written by Roxanne Adams)
To each of us, a birthday is the one day of the year where we celebrate another year, eat cake and extravagant dinners, and receive endless gifts, money, and cards. This year, my family is supporting my wish for a birthday that defies the normal standards listed above. Instead, I choose to make it a day of gratitude for my Savior and the many friends and family who are responsible for the gift of life I have this year. I choose to focus on the years to come, not only celebrate the past year. I choose to not indulge in extravagant meals and cakes, (ok, I don’t have much of a choice there lol) but instead, take birthday treats to children at the hospital that has done so much for us and made it possible to be here to celebrate my 17th. Last but not least, I choose to defy the normal process of birthday gifts. This is where I need your help, and this is the purpose of this letter-I have received many cards, gifts, supportive donations, etc, all through this past year that I have been in the hospital. From the bottom of my heart, those gifts were strength, and I can’t thank you enough. But I received something SO much greater. The past couple months, I needed multiple blood transfusions to keep my body alive while my bone marrow was not producing cells as it should. Without donor blood, my body could not have supported life very long. Thanks to six blood donors, I received the most amazing gift: life. While that may seem extreme, you could never understand how crucial blood transfusions are. So many people in our community require multiple transfusions. Anywhere from one or two bags of blood a week for a chemo patient, to 100+ bags for a trauma victim. Finally, this is my birthday wish and my request of those who feel compelled to send cards, gifts, anything for my birthday. I don’t want any gift, money, etc. My gift is complete, and I’m here with my mother, family, and friends for my birthday this year. If you had planned on sending a gift, or even if you didn’t, but would like to join in this cause, in lieu of gifts, I want to ask everyone who is capable and willing, to please make at least one blood donation in the month of April. For my friends and family who aren’t local, please contact your local hospitals or blood banks if you desire to donate. Alabama has a shortage of donor blood and platelets and people are challenging time by waiting in a hospital bed for donor blood to come be their lifesaver. If you feel compelled to meet this challenge, but are unable to donate, I ask that you make donations to Children’s Hospital, or if you’re not local, to the Children’s Miracle Network. No matter how small, any donation makes a life changing impact. Simply take the money you would have intended to spend, and donate it. I have everything I need, and couldn’t want anything more. So please change the lives of others during April. That is my only wish for my 17th birthday this year. If you have questions on how/when/where to give blood, make monetary donations to Children’s or CMN, please feel free to message me. Thank you all for being the best support and impacting my life.