Donate blood in memory of Grady Evans

Dear Editor,

I am a mother with a story to tell and a job to do. Our son Grady Evans was born fighting Nov. 15, 2018. Grady was born with a severe congenital heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – essentially half a heart. We spent a long six months at Boston Children’s Hospital where Grady endured three open heart surgeries, multiple other operations, procedures, and countless blood transfusions. It was a long, trying, wonderful road but ultimately Grady’s body became tired and he lost his battle June 5, 2019.

Along the way, Grady taught us so many things including determination, perseverance, and the true meanings love and fight. Losing Grady has lit a spark in me, and it is now my mission to spread CHD awareness and continue to do things that would make him proud.

On Feb. 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., we are holding the first annual Grady Evans Memorial Blood Drive, located at the Bellows Falls Union High School. Without donated blood, our time with our warrior would have been cut much shorter. I know first-hand how a small act can make a big difference. One in every seven hospital patients will need a blood transfusion, while less than 10% of the eligible population will actually donate blood.

You may be aware that February is Heart Month and maybe not aware that this past week specifically was CHD Awareness Week. My goal is to keep my warrior son’s memory alive while spreading the awareness for CHD. One in every 100 babies born will have a congenital heart defect, making CHDs 65 times more prevalent than childhood cancer, while receiving significantly less funding.

Those who wish to donate can make an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org. While walk-ins are welcome, making an appointment helps us keep track of participation and reduces your wait time.

Help us honor Grady Evans and his courageous fight.

Sincerely,

Janice Evans

Bellows Falls, Vt.

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