PHOTO: Members of the First family greeted and thanked people for donating blood in memory of their daughter and sister Hannah First. From left are Addy, Lisa, Natalie, Mike, and Molly (First) and Tyler McDowell.
PHOTO: John Sauser and Jordan Kurth (background) stop by to donate blood on Jan. 16 for the Hannah First Memorial Blood Drive. There were almost 130 people who registered to donate blood that day, a local record. (Photos by Kim Brooks)
On Jan. 16, the Monticello community came out in full force to support the American Red Cross blood drive, in memory of Hannah First. Hannah passed away in March of 2013 after fighting cancer since the age of 11. She was diagnosed with a form of cancer called osteosarcoma. Despite undergoing numerous rounds of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, Hannah never let cancer define her. Through out her battle, she was brave and an inspiration to all those around her.
Before the day of the blood drive, 92 donors made appointments to give blood. When it was all said and done, 128 people registered to donate at the door. They gave a total of 126 units of blood. Unfortunately, eight people were deferred due to anemia, medication, recent illnesses or if they recently traveled to a foreign country. Eleven people donated packed cells, or the equivalent of 22 units.
The blood drive ran from noon to 6 p.m. By 2:30 p.m., the Red Cross knew they were going to need more supplies due to the excess amount of donors. The Dubuque American Red Cross center was able to send a truck to Monticello with extra supplies.
The goal for the day was 100 donors. The community surely helped in surpassing that goal. The Hannah First Memorial Blood Drive certainly was a huge success! The family was overwhelmed with the turnout!