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Blood drive scheduled to help Vicksburg girl battling cancer

Bexlee-Kaye Nash has been battling high-risk stage IV Neuroblastoma — a cancer often found in the small glands on top of the kidneys — since being diagnosed in November.

During her fight against this rare cancer, her parents, Joey and Brittney Nash, have been right by her side as well as other family members and well-wishers

In fact, a few weeks ago, members of her extended family in Louisiana held a blood drive with the LifeShare Blood Center in an effort to help raise funds to defray the cost of mounting hospital bills.

On Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., another blood drive will be held, this time in Vicksburg, to help Bexlee-Kaye, at Toney’s Grill and Seafood Market, 710 U.S. 61 North.

Like Mississippi Blood Services and the Red Cross, the LifeShare Blood Center helps replenish the blood supply at local hospitals, LifeShare Blood Center account manager Jamie Wright said. It also makes cash payments to whomever the drive benefits for every pint of blood received, Wright said.

For every pint of whole blood, $15 is donated to the family and $30 for every pint of blood drawn on the ALYX machine, which is an apheresis machine that separates and collects various blood components and returns what isn’t used to the donor.

“This is to help the family with costs that have been involved with her (Bexlee-Kaye) medical treatment, whether it be lost wages from having to take her to the doctor, medicine, or whatever. It’s going to help her,” Wright said.

For those interested in donating, Brandon Baker, who is a regional director for the LifeShare Blood Center, said donors will go through a screening process, which is like a “mini-physical.” Blood pressure, iron levels and temperature will be checked, and donors will have to answer an FDA-regulated questionnaire.

“This is to make sure it is safe for them to donate as well as for whoever is to receive their blood,” Baker said.

Also, Baker said, time will vary with donations.

“We like to say it takes 30 to 45 minutes to donate whole blood and about 45 minutes to an hour to donate on the ALYX machine,” Baker said.

Extra precautions will be observed due to COVID-19, Wright said.

Only a small number of people will be allowed on the bus, face masks and gloves will be worn and after every donor, each area will be wiped down, Wright said. Appointments can be made, but no one will be turned away.

Wright said a goal of 25 pints has been set but he is hopeful donations will exceed this mark.

For more information, or to make an appointment, visit https://donor.lifeshare.org/.donor/schedules/.drive_schedule/214516.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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