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County hosts blood drive in honor of Commissioner Allen

Go! Ron Go! Goodhue County Commissioner Paul Drotos gives blood during a blood drive outside of the county government center in honor of his fellow county commissioner Ron Allen. Photo courtesy of Jessica Ahlbrecht1 / 4
The American Red Cross brought their blood drive van to the Goodhue County Government Center to give its employees a chance to donate blood in honor of Goodhue County Commissioner Ron Allen on Thursday, Aug. 30. The blood drive was so popular, employees were put on a waiting list for a chance to donate. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Stephen O'Keefe gives blood during the blood drive in honor of Goodhue County Commissioner Ron Allen on Thursday, Aug. 30. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Jessica Seide, community health specialist for Goodhue County, gives blood during a blood drive for Goodhue County Commissioner Ron Allen on Thursday, Aug. 30. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

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.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

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