Honoring Victim of The Choking Game

November 26, 2012

8th Annual Blood Drive In Memory of Spencer Lively

Event Saves Lives and Educates Community about Danger of “Choking Game”

Spencer’s love of community service and excitement about blood donation is the reason Cathy Greene chooses to honor her son’s memory with an annual blood drive.

“Spencer was an awesome person.  He was outgoing, musically talented, intelligent and a friend to all. He was also an old soul in a young body. Spencer gave blood for the first time two months before he died.  He ate a big breakfast to prepare.  He was really excited about giving blood and giving back to the community,” said Greene.

Spencer was not your typical teen. He was awarded the Who's Who Among American High School Students and named to the National Honor Roll for three consecutive years. He was invited to participate in a summer performance program at Berklee College of Music in MA. He was also a Global Scholar Representative, Junior Statesman, and chosen at attend Governor's School. He was a member of the 2003 Homecoming court, representing the JR. class (class of 2005).

Outside of the classroom, Spencer was a Red Cross Lifeguard, a member of Boy Scout Troop 631 working on his Eagle Scout badge and completed McMinnville's Inaugural Triathlon in June 2003.

The 17-year-old high school junior had a bright future until his life was cut tragically short by “the choking game.”

“We have kids in our community doing it and, like me, their parents have no idea what’s going on. Spencer tried the choking game because of peer pressure,” said Greene. “I had no clue the danger my son was in.”

Despite its name, this high risk behavior is no game. Before her son’s death, Greene had never even heard of the choking game. Now, she remembers signs that her son was in trouble.

“Spencer would complain of tingling in his arms, headaches, and blood shot eyes,” said Greene.

It is painful for Greene to share her story, but she does so in hopes of saving other children in the area and educating parents in the community.

To learn more about the choking game, visit: http://chokinggame.net/

The American Red Cross is holding the 8th annual blood drive in memory of Spencer to honor his passion for giving blood and helping others.

It only takes about an hour to donate blood.  In that hour, you can unwrap a lifetime of memories for hospital patients in your community and across the country.  The need for blood is constant and doesn’t pause for the holidays.  By taking time to donate this winter, you can help the Red Cross ensure a stable blood supply for all patients who need blood products.

All blood types are needed to help maintain a sufficient blood supply, especially type O negative.  Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.

You are invited to give blood at the Eighth Annual Spencer Lively Blood Drive on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the McMinnville Civic Center located at 500 Garfield St. in McMinnville.

To make an appointment to join this special blood drive, please visit: www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation and enter the sponsor code: Spencer19

All presenting donors will be entered to win a $1,000 American Express gift card.

You are also invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Warren County Rescue Squad Toy Drive. Spencer loved children and had a passion to help those in need. Last year, the toy drive collected enough toys to help 750 needy children in Warren County.