There will be four opportunities to help out the family of Lowen Goosey in Fulton this week.
Goosey, of Fulton, has been hospitalized for nearly the past month while battling hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that stems from certain strains of E. coli bacteria. Goosey will turn 2 on Friday, and supporters of her family wanted to organize a birthday celebration that will benefit her and others in need.
"We know the community has been wanting to do something to support the Goosey family, and I give blood often for the Super Sam Foundation and realized my wait time (to give blood) had elapsed, so I wanted to sponsor a blood drive. It turned out there were many others with the same idea," said Sara Jeffrey-Borcherding, one of the blood drive's organizers.
The "birthday party blood drive" will take place noon-6 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Christian Church. Sponsored by the American Red Cross, participants can give blood as well as make birthday cards for Goosey.
"The inspiration behind this event came from wanting to keep giving the gift of life because Lowen has received several blood transfusions throughout her stay in the hospital," Jeffrey-Borcherding said.
Jeffrey-Borcherding said the community's response to Wednesday's blood drive was so large three-quarters of the available 60 slots were filled within the first 24 hours. The American Red Cross was already sponsoring blood drives at the Fulton Medical Center on Thursday and at Ovid Bell Press on Friday, and those interested in donating blood or making a birthday card can attend those as well.
"The Red Cross typically requires six months advance notice, but since they're familiar with the community's passion to help in Fulton, they were willing to work with us," Jeffrey-Borcherding said. She said the idea for the event was created only two and a half weeks ago.
Jeffrey-Borcherding said recently Goosey had been making "solid progress" in her battle. However, Goosey reportedly has been fighting a new infection that has slowed the progress a bit.
Donations will also be accepted at these blood drives. Jeffrey-Borcherding said monetary donations or gift cards will be welcomed and will go directly to the Goosey family.
"We are very grateful as always with the community coming out and showing so much support," Jeffrey-Borcherding said. "Whenever there's a need, we know the community will rally together to get something done."
Additionally, there will be a fundraiser from noon-2 p.m. Sunday at the Central Christian Church. Proceeds from food and drinks sold will benefit the Goosey family.
"She was just your happy toddler bouncing around a few weeks ago, and then it got very serious very fast. The many prayers and support there's been from the community has been amazing to see," Jeffrey-Borcherding said.
The blood drive at Fulton Medical Center is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, and the drive at Ovid Bell Press is 1-5:30 p.m. Volunteers are still wanted for each of the three blood drives.