The first blood drive in Lauren’s honor will be held April 16 at Brentwood Elementary School, 200 Griffith Lane, from 2 to 7 p.m. The next is scheduled for April 30 at Resurrection Ministries, 1275 Fairview Ave. in Brentwood, from 1 to 7 p.m.
The Red Cross is asking prospective donors to schedule appointments online at www.redcrossblood.org. Enter ZIP code 94513 for the April 16 blood drive and sponsor code Brentwood for April 30. Appointments can also be made by phone at 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767). Walk-in donors are always welcome, but advance appointments allow the Red Cross to plan for adequate staffing and equipment.
Cherri Chiodo, Lauren’s mother, said chemotherapy and radiation have been shrinking Lauren’s tumor, but the disease and its treatment often leave her with a zero platelet count and an extremely low red blood cell count, making her weak. Chiodo said the transfusions of blood and platelets give Lauren energy and leave her more like her old self.
The drives are being organized in part by Sue Lackey, Lauren’s former fourth-grade teacher at Brentwood Elementary and family friend. While Chiodo was giving blood for Lauren, a nurse suggested that Chiodo’s friend could hold blood drives in Lauren’s honor. Blood collected at the drives can help not only Lauren, but many other sick and injured people in the community.
The Red Cross will supply Thinking of You cards at both upcoming drives. Donors can use them to write a message of support to Lauren and her family.