A blood drive is being held at Waxahachie High School on Friday, Sept. 7, for senior Jason Cox, who was diagnosed with leukemia June 11.
Cox has undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments and is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant Oct. 8.
A Carter BloodCare mobile unit will be parked in the Waxahachie High School lot just outside of the Fine Arts Center from 1-7 p.m. to receive donations.
“His (Cox’s) aunt approached us to see if we would be able to do a blood drive on campus,” WHS counselor Kristi Slate said. “(Principal David) Nix approved it and the Leo Club, a student outreach club of the Lions Club, is helping organize it, taking signups from students and making posters publicizing it.”
Slate also sent out e-mails to the entire school district roster and sent a separate campus-wide e-mail encouraging all to participate.
“He is a very good kid,” Slate said of Cox. “He’s got a good prognosis. We just need all the help we can get. And we want to support him in every way possible. We felt that this is one thing we could do. “
“Mr. Nix and Ms. Slate have been instrumental in getting things arranged at the school,” said Cox’s aunt, Cathy Miller of Corsicana. “I would also like to thank Quickway Signs for donating a 2-feet by 2-feet banner that we’ve used at our fund-raisers and Quizno’s, Double Dave’s Pizza Works and Chick-Fil-A for their donation of coupons to be given away to blood donors on Friday.”
In addition to receiving coupons from area restaurants, donors will receive T-shirts from Carter BloodCare. And for those students who donate twice during this school year, Carter BloodCare will present them with a cord that can be worn during graduation ceremonies.
“We are a large, close family,” said Miller, who is one of five sisters and claims that each sister treats her nieces and nephews as if they were her own children. “When one of us hurts, we all hurt.”
When the family searched for ways they could help, Cox’s treatment coordinator suggested the family start a blood drive to help replace the numerous units he was receiving.
“Several members of the family donated in Ennis and Corsicana but we knew we needed to do more. I contacted the Carter Blood Center and the ball started rolling from there,” Miller said.
Cox’s family has also teamed together to hold a bake sale during lunchtime on the day of the blood drive.
“There will be cookies, cupcakes, brownies and other goodies to help raise money. There are so many expenses that aren’t covered by insurance, such as gasoline for the daily trips to the hospital, meals and phone bills,” Miller said.
A cancer survivor herself, Miller said, “I know what chemotherapy and radiation therapy does to you. I know how alone you feel. My family and friends helped me through my experience with cancer and I want to be able to help Jason in the same way.”
Both Miller and Cox’s mother, Autumn Cox, mentioned the sadness Cox was experiencing about missing out on his senior year of high school.
“Unfortunately he will have to be homebound most of his senior year and will have to miss out on most of the senior activities,” said Autumn Cox, who talked about her son’s hobby of building mini-trucks and his membership in Productive Insanity, a mini-truck club.
“They (Productive Insanity members) have been great friends to Jason through all of this. We would like to thank each and every one who has helped with the blood drive and the bake sale. It is greatly appreciated,” Cox said.
“One thing I can say,” Miller said. “This Corsicana Tiger will be a fan of the Waxahachie Indians for the rest of her life. Even when I’m sitting across the field cheering on my Tigers, I will be thankful for all the people in the green and white. Go Hachie!
The basic requirements to be a blood donor are a person must be at least 17 years of age, have an ID and weigh at least 110 pounds. Blood donors cannot donate blood more often than every 56 days and must pass a screening process that includes completing a questionnaire.
Tamara Klopsenstein of Carter BloodCare said many people incorrectly believe they may not be qualified to donate blood. She said she encourages anyone who meets the basic requirements to come and complete the questionnaire in order to determine his or her eligibility as a donor.
“Don’t just assume you’re not a qualified donor,” Klopsenstein said. “Some people really truly can’t donate blood. But 60 percent of the nation is eligible to donate blood and only 5 percent actually do - yet one in three people will need blood.”
For more information, about Carter BloodCare and blood donation, visit online at www.carterbloodcare.org.
E-mail Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org