SUWANEE -- Two events this week are designed to help the fight against childhood cancer.
The Morning View subdivision in Suwanee will have a fundraiser Thursday night at its swim team's meet against Hamilton Mill. On Friday, the American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the neighborhood clubhouse. Three children in the Morning View neighborhood have been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. It's a coincidence that the events are the same week as World Blood Donor Day, which is Friday, said Kim Boone, who organized the blood drive after one was held last year for her daughter, Abby, who has battled ALL.
Melissa Chaffin Barton, a donor recruitment account manager with the American Red Cross, coordinated with Boone to put on the events.
"They saw the need of the blood drives because of all of the transfusions these kids have had," Barton said.
Abby Boone, 9, was diagnosed when she was 8, while Cole Carter, 11, was diagnosed at 5, and Elena Tate, 13, was diagnosed three years ago, and suffered a relapse in February.
"She's the one we're focusing on," Barton said.
Boone said she only knew of the other families in the neighborhood before her daughter was diagnosed, but didn't know them well. That changed after the diagnosis.
"Both were at my door within a 24-hour period," she said. "It's so helpful to lean on, vent, talk to, cry on. It's like another set of family."
Boone said the swim meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday would have t-shirts, bracelets, baked goods and a raffle to raise money to fight leukemia. Tickets will also be sold for the swim coaches to perform stunts in the pool. The event will also be an "orange out" as attendees are encouraged to wear orange clothes, because orange is the official color of leukemia.
Proceeds will go to CURE, a non-profit cancer research foundation dedicated to finding cures for childhood cancer.
The event was scheduled with Hamilton Mill because Boone said each team has about 200 members.
The blood drive will be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. Barton said the traditional summer blood shortage came earlier this year. The blood types especially needed are O, B and A-negative, Barton said.
The goal is to have 60 pints donated at the event, she said.