Mineola girl organizes blood drive after seeing shortage during mother’s cancer treatment

A young girl in Mineola is hoping the community will turn out for a blood drive that she organized i

MINEOLA, Texas (KLTV) - A young girl in Mineola is hoping the community will turn out for a blood drive that she organized in honor of her mother, who is battling breast cancer.

Avery Herlocker’s mother, Leslie, was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago. Since then, she’s gone into remission. However, Herlock said her mother’s cancer has returned and has spread.

“This year we’ve been in and out of the hospital. It’s been really hard,” Herlocker said.

"She is a fighter. She is going at it every way she can to beat it, and we have faith she can,” said Brittany Bessonett, the senior vice president in charge of marketing at Mineola Community Bank.

Herlocker recently noticed a problem during her mother’s cancer treatments: a shortage of blood and blood type.

“Sometimes she didn’t get the right amount of blood that she needed," the 9-year-old explained. “She was needing 2.5, and all they had was 3 point and 3.5, and so there wasn’t the exact amount she needed. So, I had this idea to do the blood drive so there would be enough blood for everybody who has bad diseases like cancer."

A young girl in Mineola is hoping the community will turn out for a blood drive that she organized in honor of her mother, who’s battling breast cancer. (Source: Alex Leroux, KLTV)
A young girl in Mineola is hoping the community will turn out for a blood drive that she organized in honor of her mother, who’s battling breast cancer. (Source: Alex Leroux, KLTV) (Source: Alex Leroux KLTV)

Herlocker’s idea to hold a blood drive quickly came to life, and she’s already seen a lot of support. Her family has since teamed up with Mineola Community Bank, which is hosting the blood drive on Thursday.

“The support has been overwhelming. The original spots that we filled were employees here at the bank, and we also had ex-employees who also worked here,” Bessonett explained. “Family members of employees, as well as members of the community - Avery’s very involved in sports as well as East Texas Twisters - have really shown up to support her and her mother.”

“It really means a lot to me because it just makes me feel like everybody really. They know they have a really good life, and they just want to help other people that are fighting cancer and all those other diseases that are bad for you,” Herlocker added.

The blood drive will be hosted in the west parking lot of the Mineola Community Bank on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Donors will receive a T-shirt, a goodie bag, and a free lunch. Due to the possibility of rain, the bank will host lunch inside for all those who choose to donate.

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