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Dickinson blood drive seeks to save lives

When Mandy Wilson's younger brother, Cody, fell from a bridge in Fargo on a winter day in 2016, she remembers rushing to the hospital and witnessing medical professionals attempting to save his life.

"I remember watching as pints upon pints of blood were brought into the emergency room as they attempted to save his life," said Wilson.

"Ultimately, he perished from his injuries, but the blood donations gave us hope and allowed us to say our goodbyes," Wilson said. "I remember thinking, people we didn't even know took the time to donate and as a result we had closure because of those donations."

Wilson, friends and family are now part of Team Cody, where they regularly donate blood and host blood drives in his honor.

"Take the time to save a loved one," Wilson said. "If we can give another family a chance at recovery, or even closure, then we know that Cody's death was for a purpose."

Wilson is the coordinator of the upcoming Cody Kadrmas Memorial Festival and Blood Drive, held at the Veterans Memorial Pavilion in Dickinson on July 8-9.

The drive will begin with a donation breakfast at 8 a.m. through noon, and will have live entertainment and vendors on-site.

The drive is sponsored and manned by the Dickinson Venture Crew, a program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women, and the Matthew Brew American Legion Post 3.

"Our goal is to generate at least 300 scheduled donations," said Todd Otto, adjutant of American Legion Post 3. "Walk-ins are welcome as well, and they could very well save a life."

The collected units of blood and platelets will go to hospitals in the Midwest region, helping rural communities like Stark County.

Donor requirements will be posted on-site, however, anyone over the age of 16, in good physical health and weighing at least 110 pounds may donate.