Blood drives scheduled to aid Vicksburg woman
Published 1:48 pm Monday, August 5, 2019
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.
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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.”