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On Saturday, Dec. 1, the family of Katherine Toce will host the 24th Katherine Toce Memorial American Red Cross Blood Drive at the Highland Elementary School, 490 Highland Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Over 2,700 people have come to the last 23 memorial blood drives to give the “gift of life” and over 2,500 units of blood have been donated since 2001 in Katherine’s memory. Since one unit of blood can help up to three patients, approximately 7,500 people with serious medical needs may have been helped as a result of Katherine’s life-giving legacy.
“Blood donations in Katherine’s memory this holiday season help ensure that blood is readily available for patients when it is needed,” stated Paul Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross – Connecticut Blood Services Region. “We celebrate the Toce family and generous volunteer blood donors for making a difference in the lives of others during the holiday season and year round.”
Eleven years ago on March 6, 2001 Katherine Toce lost her battle with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. During the course of her treatment, Katherine needed multiple blood transfusions to sustain her life. Michael Toce, Katherine’s brother, then a junior at Cheshire High School, decided to help others who may need blood, by sponsoring a blood drive in Katherine’s honor, as part of an Eagle Scout project.
“We are asking the community to rally once again and help the Red Cross collect over 100 units of blood in Katherine’s memory on December 1 at the Highland Elementary School in Cheshire,” Nadine Toce, Katherine’s mother stated. “We are very grateful to family, friends, neighbors and the Cheshire community at large for supporting the Katherine Toce Memorial Blood Drive and coming out to donate blood.”
Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. On average, 44,000 blood donations are needed each day to help trauma victims, surgical patients, burn victims, patients with blood disorders and many others.