County hosts blood drive in honor of Commissioner Allen

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Goodhue County employees came out in full force Thursday, Aug. 30 to donate blood in honor of Commissioner Ron Allen.

Allen, who is receiving treatments for leukemia, has received 37 blood transfusions this summer.

Fellow Commissioner Paul Drotos helped conceive the idea, according to Allen who spoke with the Republican Eagle in the middle of receiving his most recent blood transfusion.

Allen said he's "proud" of the county employees who took time out of their schedules to donate blood.

Administrative assistant Stacy Thuman said they had a waiting list for employees after the 40 spots filled up.

Thuman said some of the public came to donate blood when they saw the American Red Cross bus in the Government Center parking lot, but she said it was just for county employees and said that St. Paul's Lutheran Church will hold a blood drive next Thursday.

Goodhue County Community Health Specialist Jessica Seide said she's tried to donate on 10 occasions in past, but has only donated once successfully due to low hemoglobin levels.

However, Seide came prepared, eating a hearty lunch to make sure she was able to donate. Seide said she's known many people who have needed blood and said to have an opportunity to give is incredibly important.

Allen said they collected over 40 units, joking that it's almost how much he's given this summer.

Treatment is going well, according to Allen, who said he'll have a teleconference with doctors in Nashville, Tenn., that will conduct his bone marrow transport this winter.

After the bone marrow transfer, Allen said he'll be cured.

As far as future plans go, nothing is concrete, but Allen hopes to have the bus next year and have a chance for people to be screened for being a possible blood marrow donor.