Blood drive honors leader in deaf community, beyond

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Fellow students and friends of a young woman who died in January from lung and heart complications held a blood drive Thursday in her honor.

Mary Grover was 18 and committed to both serving and leading at the Kansas State School for the Deaf in Olathe, where she was a high school senior.

Blood drives were among Mary Grover's many passions as she served the community and donated her time and talents. When Mary was young, she needed platelet transfusions to help her body overcome blood clotting problems, and it became an important part of her service.

On Thursday, her family and friends teamed up with the American Red Cross for a blood drive at her school.

"I never really wanted to before. I don't need to do that. And then you know, once we lost her I thought, you know what, today's pretty special, I'm gong to go ahead and in honor of Mary I'm going to donate my blood. And having people here, it's really nice to honor her," said Alfonso Torres, who had known Mary since 3rd grade.

Many of those who organized and participated in the blood drive said it will continue to be a passion for them.

"I feel good, you know, people are supporting her, remembering her, we're trying to get more people involved in her memory. It just makes me feel real good," Torres said.

The Kansas State School for the Deaf, 450 E. Park in Olathe, plans more blood drives in Mary's honor in the future.

If you'd like to donate blood, simply call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit

A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of ID are required at check-in.

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