• 73°

Blood drives scheduled to aid Vicksburg woman

Nancy Thomas went in for a routine checkup but left with a diagnosis that has since changed her life.

On June 14, 2018, Thomas, a long-time Vicksburg resident and manager of McCoy’s Building Supply, was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia — a condition resulting from malfunctioning bone marrow — and as a result, now requires sometimes weekly blood transfusions.

Therefore in an effort to assist Thomas, a blood drive is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6300 Indiana Ave.

Jen Chappell, who is serving as one of the organizers for the blood drive said she met Thomas at church.

“I had heard something was wrong,” Chappell said, “And that she was in the hospital, but really didn’t know what was happening”

Chappell said she went to the hospital to visit Thomas, and after learning about Thomas’s rare disease and how she had to have weekly blood transfusions decided to do something to help.

“I just didn’t want to bring over a plate of cookies. It just seemed like so little,” she said.

So Chappell decided to reach out to Mississippi Blood Services.

“I got a hold of their director, and we set up a donor number for Nancy, so that anybody donating anywhere if they have her name and number could donate,” Chappell said, which will in turn help with her medical expenses.

“There are not even words to describe how I feel about what Jen has done,” Thomas said, in reference to the blood drive. “She has gone above and beyond, and I appreciate everything she has done and anybody willing to donate, I am just so grateful.”

Severe Aplastic Anemia affects red and white blood cells as well as platelets, causing Thomas to feel tired “all the time.”

“Your oxygen is carried on your red blood cells, so if you don’t have enough red blood cells in your body, to distribute your oxygen everywhere your muscles get tired, your brain gets tired, you just get tired,” she said.

After a transfusion, Thomas said, she will feel good for a few days.

Prior to Mississippi Blood Services coming to Vicksburg, Chappell said, a minimum of 25 people must sign up to donate blood.

To sign up call 601-415-1822 or visit, signupgenius.com/go/70a044ca9a723a7fb6-blood.

In addition to the blood drive scheduled in Vicksburg, drives are also scheduled in Clinton and Madison.

If you are unable to make it to one of the Thomas’ scheduled blood drives but desire to make individual blood donations at another Mississippi Blood Center location, Chappell said, tell the phlebotomist at registration to credit your donation to Nancy Thomas (code:  DU70).

“I have been so appreciative of everybody’s support, not just a church,” Thomas said, “But at work, from friends and family.

“I have had just such a good support system and that has made a difference.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart