By Ashley Rader
City employees and local residents volunteered to give the gift of life this holiday season by participating in a blood drive at Elizabethton City Hall.
Director of Human Resources Angie Lyons said the blood drive is a regular event: She said the city had been hosting blood drives twice a year, once in June and again in December, for many years.
However, the blood drive holds a special importance for many of the employees at City Hall, including Lyons, whose family members have faced a cancer diagnosis or other diseases that have required blood transfusions as part of the treatment plan.
Lyons’ husband was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009. As a part of his treatment and as a result of the chemotherapy, she said he had to receive blood as often as twice a day.
“It never failed that when he needed the blood, it was there,” she said.
He has been in remission for four years, and Lyons, along with her husband’s family, regularly donate blood to help with the needed blood supply in the area. Lyons was unable to make a donation during the blood drive Wednesday because of a recent illness and the needed medication for treatment.
“Personally, I am more aware of the need now,” Lyons said. “We have always had them and I probably didn’t participate like I should have before.”
She noted that it was not really necessary to promote blood drives at city hall because so many employees were willing to give. Also, she said community members would sign up for the drive because they also donated on a regular basis.
“It is heartwarming to see that everyone is so willing to donate,” Lyons said. “Several others here with the city have had cancer patients in their families so it means a lot to them too. Blood drives like these touch a lot of lives.”