LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Friday, students at St. Edward High School and members of the Lakewood community joined together for a Red Cross blood donation event in honor of Mikey George.
“I’m just honored. Thank you,” Tony George, his father, said to those who showed up.
“I just felt compelled to do it for a great cause. Great young man,” explained donor Mike Marcellino.
After battling Leukemia, Mikey left this world in June, at the age of 16.
“Always singing and dancing. Never complained. Happiest kid I know,” George remembered.
Three months later, his family is turning his memory into action through the blood drive.
“During his treatment he used several blood products on a regular basis,” said Christy Peters of the American Red Cross.
“At that point when he went to heaven we wanted to give back because these cancer patients need these blood products to survive,” said George.
At his alma mater of St. Edward High School in Lakewood, the Red Cross set up multiple stations Friday where people came ready to give.
“I know the blood platelets I have are very important to the Red Cross. Being an AB positive donor there are a lot of people that need the platelets my blood provides,” said Marcellino.
The Red Cross said they are always looking for donations.
“Platelets have to be transfused within five days, so their shelf life is very short. So, there’s a constant need to replenish them,” said Peters.
George knows his son would be thrilled with the turnout.
“He would be running all around here shaking hands with everybody giving them a big hug. He’s watching over us right now,” he said.
A wristband and t-shirt were given to donors, in Mikey’s favorite color — orange. The back of the shirt was inscribed with one of his favorite bible passages: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13.”
Mikey also found strength at St. Edward.
“I think the student body rallied around him and gave him support at a very difficult time,” said Marcellino.
“These kids with special needs are treated like the same as another student here and the other students have embraced these kids,” noted George.
Peters says they need about 500 pints of blood in the northern Ohio region daily.
“It really is a small pinch just to help people who need it desperately and are depending on you.”
Now Mikey has a hand in saving the lives of others.
“He was an Angel on earth. We just didn’t know it,” said George.
In a preliminary report Friday evening, the Red Cross said 95 people donated blood and 87 pints of blood were collected. They say they are in urgent need of type B and O right now. You can find more information on how to donate by clicking here.