WAHPETON, N.D. — Students at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton are paying tribute to a former student by honoring his memory with a day-long blood drive on Jan. 30.
Cameron Bolton died in a crash a year and a half ago, but his family has been campaigning since his death to urge people to be donors — not just for organs, but blood, too.
Sarah Fisher works at Sanford Medical Center, where her 22-year-old son Cameron died following a car crash near Mapleton. It's the same place where he would become a donor and save multiple lives with his heart, liver and more.
As Cameron's school, NDSCS, prepares to host a blood drive in his memory, his mother is reminded of the importance of living donors' blood when some are hanging on by a thread waiting for an organ.
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"Cameron's recipients needed blood in order for them to live in order to get Cameron's organs," Fisher said. "Without that lifesaving blood, they would not have been able to get the organs."
At the Sanford blood bank, those who work in the lab 24/7 are well aware of the need for donors. The blood bank goes through products quickly each day.
That blood comes from donors who volunteer and show up at Vitalant in south Fargo. On average, 30 people a day to meet the need.
"We serve 70 hospitals throughout the Dakotas and Minnesota, and so each day we need 250 donors to serve these patients," explains Bailey Gemar, a donor recruitment representative with Vitalant. "We count on donors every day."
That blood drive honoring Cameron at NDSCS in Fargo is Thursday, Jan. 30 and goes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.