Clayton Teen’s Blood Drive Returning
Last year, Molly Avilez helped give back to the community that helped her more than 10 years ago. At the end of this month, she hopes to do it all over again.
Molly’s “Keep Paying It Forward” Blood Drive will be held on November 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Multi-Use Room at Diablo View Middle School in Clayton. The school is located at 300 Diablo View Lane. It’ll be the second year for the drive, and Molly is expecting big results.
“The American Red Cross collected 80 units of blood at last year’s blood drive,” Molly said. “I think we’re going to have an even better turnout this year.”
Molly, 14, attends Clayton Valley High School, where she is a member of the Public Service Academy. The academy challenges students to support their community. Molly’s desire to give back to others stems from a tragic accident that happened in 1997, when she was run over by a car. She was only 17 months old at the time.
The accident left Molly with a collapsed lung and a severed liver. By the time she got to Children’s Hospital in Oakland, she had lost 50 percent of the blood in her body. Doctors were forced to begin transfusing Molly with blood in the emergency room – even before she could be moved to the operating table.
“Doctors told her father and me that Molly had a less than 50 percent chance of surviving,” Monica Fraga, Molly’s mother, said.
But after receiving numerous blood transfusions and enduring two surgeries, Molly pulled through. Her survival can be attributed to the care she received from doctors at Children’s Hospital and the blood that was available to her the moment she needed it. Blood that was collected from volunteer donors.
“I am grateful for the people who do think beyond themselves,” Fraga said. “If it was not for people like that, then Molly would not be here. And I know that.”
The Red Cross is taking measures to prepare for the large number of donors expected at this year’s drive. The organization is closing its Pleasant Hill donor center for the day, and will be sending supplemental staff from that site to Molly’s blood drive.
“Last year, we underestimated the tremendous response we got for Molly’s blood drive,” said Sara O’Brien, spokesperson for the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. “When Molly said she wanted the drive to be bigger this year, we decided to provide the staff and resources to accommodate up to 200 participants.”
Expanding the opportunity to give, representatives from the National Marrow Donor Program and California Transplant Donor Network will have tables set up at the drive, and will be supplying information about their organizations to anyone interested.
Schedule your appointment now or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
“I’m thankful for everyone who donates blood,” Molly said. “Every two seconds someone needs blood, and that’s a lot of people who need help.”
About the American Red Cross:
The Northern California Blood Services Region of the Red Cross supplies blood to more than 30 Bay Area hospitals, and needs to collect approximately 350 units of blood each day in order to meet hospital needs.