Boy’s cancer battle inspires blood drive
Donors remember Garion Vest
A community showed it hasn't forget one of its members who loved being a kid and fought cancer until the end.
The De Soto Community Blood Drive, sponsored through the Community Blood Center, did not serve as an ordinary blood drive because it was operated with respect to the memory of Garion Daniel Vest, a 10 year old boy who died on August 14, 2000.
"Garion Vest had a bone marrow transplant and used 30 pints of blood for it," Amanda Storm, director of Donor Recruitment for Community Blood Center. "We are hoping that the community will support other boys and girls in need of transfusions."
There are several blood drives in De Soto each year, including one at the high school and Sealright each and two community blood drives. Storm said the CBC currently has a blood shortage.
"There is a lot of potential for growth in terms of blood donors in De Soto," Storm said. "Existing donors need to give more than once a year."
Garion's mother, Kristin Vest, was pleased with the community's interest in helping children fighting cancer, She was touched that her late son was remembered on Monday.
"I think its great that people are donating blood but it helps knowing that it was in memory of someone," Vest said. "There will always be the regular people who donate but this helps."
In addition to receiving a free T-shirt at the blood drive, each of the donors were eligible for a $50 gift certificate from Target and the first 30 people to donate blood received a coupon for a free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut. Hastings added a personal touch to the blood drive by donating several Harry Potter items, such as journals and address books, to the drawing. Vest enjoyed collecting Harry Potter books, cards and other items.
"Garion loved Harry Potter and when Amanda (Storm) told me they got donations from Hastings, I thought that was really nice," Vest said.