Letís Do This: Gamecocks give blood for Aimee
By Megan Sexton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-1421
Andy Copeland beamed as he looked at the crowd donating blood Monday at the USC Greek Village, and said, “This makes me very, very proud to be a Gamecock.”
Copeland’s daughter, Aimee, is at Doctors Hospital of Augusta, Ga., after contracting a rare flesh-decaying infection following a fall from a homemade zip-line in early May. She has lost her left leg, right foot and both hands.
Andy Copeland, USC Class of ’83, called on My Carolina Alumni Association and the University of Georgia Alumni Association to host a “Border Bash” blood drive in Aimee’s name. On Monday (June 11), Carolina students, faculty and staff came together to donate blood. Many of the donors and volunteers wore T-shirts proclaiming “Let’s Do This” – Aimee’s words when she learned she would lose both hands and her one remaining foot.
“To come back to my alma mater and see the shirts with those inspiring three words that Aimee actually said, and to see the university’s support, it’s just overwhelming,” Copeland said. “We’re proving today just how great the Gamecock Nation is.”
A parade of donors rolled up their sleeves and donated blood 81 pints of blood at the on-campus site Monday. Additional donations are coming from other centers in Aimee's name.
“It’s important that the whole Carolina family comes together under circumstances like this,” Provost Michael Amiridis said after he donated blood Monday morning.
Susan Lee, USC’s assistant vice president for development, said it had been a long time since she had donated blood.
“I was really blown away by the story of Aimee Copeland,” Lee said. “Her story drove me to donate blood again today.”
The country has been captivated by the story of 24-year-old Aimee Copeland. Her father said Monday that his daughter’s condition is continuing to improve. She was scheduled to have skin graft surgery and could be in rehab in a couple weeks. She spoke to him on the telephone as he drove from Augusta, Ga., to Columbia on Monday morning.
“Her spirits are strong, and she is amazingly resilient,” he said.
Amy Stone, interim director of My Carolina, said that resiliency is a trait shared by both father and daughter.
“All that is happening here today was Andy’s idea. To take the time to think beyond the moment and mobilize so many people to give the gift of life through donating blood that could not only help Aimee but countless others, is no small task,” said Stone, who also is the secretary to the university’s board of trustees. “Thank you to Andy for reaching out and letting Gamecock Nation in.”
- This is a nationwide challenge, so all Gamecocks can visit any Red Cross blood donation center and make a donation in honor of Aimee Copeland.
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