HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — A Red Cross blood drive took place in Huntington with a special mission on Friday.
The community came together not only to give blood but to honor one young man’s legacy.
Demetry Walker’s passing was sudden and a shock to those who knew and loved him.
“He was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia on May 21st. He died on June 19th. But he was always one to care for others,” says Delegate Danielle Walker (D-Monongalia), Demetry’s mother.
In fact, Demetry was studying to become a licensed practical nurse, and his brother walked the stage on his behalf when Demetry graduated.
In the same spirit of caring for others, Demetry’s partner Nick is carrying on his legacy in Huntington.
“I’m hosting a blood drive for Demetry. During his Leukemia treatment, he had stated for every one blood product that he wanted, he wanted to give back five to ten so as his partner it is my job to honor that and continue his legacy,” says Nick Johnson, Demetry’s partner.
Friends and supporters of Demetry Walker came out to the A.D. Lewis Community Center to fulfill that wish.
“Demetry touched so many lives, here, there, and everywhere… I thank the folks who made the appointments to give the gift of hope to many families, including my own,” Walker says.
“I have always viewed giving blood as one of the most not technically easiest things, but it’s free, you’ll replenish it in a couple hours, and it’ll help save tons of lives in the process,” says Karlie Brubeck, who gave blood in honor of Demetry Friday.
Not only is this blood drive encouraging people to roll up their sleeves in honor of Demetry, but it is also to help maintain a stable blood supply in the region.
“Right now we are in an emergency need of blood. Summer is a very difficult time for the American Red Cross and hospitals because a lot of people are on vacation…Donating blood is a community responsibility. It can’t be paid for, it has to be voluntarily donated,” says Amy Anderson, account manager with the American Red Cross.
So whether you’re rolling up your sleeves for Demetry, or you just want to do your part, those close to Demetry encourage everyone to donate if they can.
Friends and family of Demetry are planning many more blood drives from all the locations he received blood while he was getting treatment.
For more information on how you can get involved and/or keep track of the blood drives for Demetry, visit their Facebook page here.