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Ophir Elementary answers call for blood donations

By: Colin Berr, Gold Country News Service
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Rushing to aid the family of a beloved teacher, Ophir Elementary School hosted a blood drive on campus for the local community on Monday. The drive – which drew 63 registered donors – was in support of Joan Casey, who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Casey is the mother of Ophir teacher Meagan Thomasson, who works with disabled and mainstream students. Having supported Ophir since 1997, Thommason turned to the community for assistance. “Given the cost of blood transfusions, the cost to the family is enormous,” said Kimberly Campbell, a sixth-grade teacher of Ophir Elementary. The Delta Blood Bank in Sockton sent a mobile clinic van to Ophir. The blood center transferred the donations directly to Casey’s blood account, as the school was able to guarantee that 50 people would donate blood during the visit. “The leukemia has shut down her body’s ability to produce the blood cells she needs,” Thomasson said from Waterford. “She needs the blood to stay alive.” Casey was admitted to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto on Mother’s Day. Since her leukemia diagnosis, Casey has needed multiple blood and platelet transfusions over the past week. Casey had been actively involved in her Waterford community for the past 42 years. She was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader and was also active in numerous community organizations. In order to make donations to Casey’s blood account, donors must go through a Delta Blood Bank. Call (888) 942-5663. Donations to the general blood bank can be made at the next Loomis Community Blood Drive, which is scheduled for 2:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3, at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed.