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    Blood oath: Mother, daughter make pact to give the gift of life

    The mother-daughter team of Debbie and Courtney Rapp are committed to donating blood at The Resource Center as a gesture of love for a family member.

    Several years ago Louise Young, who was Deb’s mom and Courtney’s grandmother, developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The illness required Louise to undergo blood transfusions every few weeks. Deb, who is the Supervisor at our Senior Adult Day Habilitation Program, said her mother maintained a positive outlook about the treatments and would joke that she was “going in for a refill” when it was time for a transfusion.

    “I’d ask if she needed anything, and she’d say, `I have a good book to read, so I’ll be OK. I’ll call you when I’m done.’ Then she’d send me happy emojis on my cell phone while she received her transfusion and shared how thankful she was that this would make her feel better,” Deb said. “She knew once she received this gift that she could breathe better and continue living.”

    Louise lost her battle with CLL last September. Following Louise’s death Deb and Courtney, a Licensed Practical Nurse at our Edgewater Day Program, pledged to each other they would donate blood in Louise’s honor every time The Resource Center hosts an American Red Cross blood drive. As part of its commitment to give back to the community, TRC hosts several Red Cross blood drives each year.

    For Deb and Courtney, supporting the Red Cross is a tangible way they can express appreciation for the transfusions that extended Louise’s life.

    “My mom was the center of our family, and she is missed every day,” Deb said. “My family was blessed that she had this option to receive transfusions to keep her well enough to spend a little more time with her family. Without these transfusions, we would not have had her on this earth with us as long as we did. My family was blessed by this gift of giving blood that helped my mom. ”

    Courtney and Debbie Rapp donate blood at TRC.

    Deb and Courtney donated blood at TRC’s most recent blood drive April 23.  Those drives are coordinated by the Red Cross and by members of The Resource Center’s award-winning STARS employee wellness program. Deb appreciates that TRC undertakes the effort to hold these events.

    “The Resource Center STARS program does a fantastic job hosting the Red Cross blood drive. This event helps our local community and Chautauqua County,” said Deb, who has donated more than a gallon of blood over the years . “The TRC blood drive is a perfect example on how we try to support our community. Not only do TRC employees donate blood, but they open this up to our community to come to our main office on Dunham Avenue to donate, too. Supporting people is really what The Resource Center is all about, and this includes the Red Cross.”

    The April 23 event collected 34 units of blood, enough to potentially save the lives of 100 people. The next blood drive at The Resource Center will take place in the fall, and you can be sure Deb and Courtney will be there, rolling up their sleeves to give the gift of life in honor of Louise.

    Deb is grateful to all who donate blood, as she knows from personal experience that blood donations make a positive impact.

    “I would like to give a heartfelt thank-you to each person that donates their blood,” she said. “You really do touch so many lives that we all cherish.”

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