Story of Hope

William “Billy” Lamar III is no stranger to blood drives. He donated for many years, and remembers being motivated by a member of the congregation who became ill in the 1960s.

“God gave you a gift to sustain life not only for yourself, but for others.” After a thoughtful pause he added, “That was all I needed. I personally had to answer that call having no idea I would eventually be on the other end.”

Now in his 80s, Lamar suffers from Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) a type of cancer in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow do not mature into healthy blood cells. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and frequent infections with some types later developing into acute myeloid leukemia.

That very complication contributed to the death of lifelong Trinity celebrant Louise “Weezie” Lane Caskey, 75, just a week ago.

“She was my chemo partner,” he explained. “We grew up in church together.”

Needless to say, blood donations have become pivotal to Lamar’s wellbeing and ultimately his life. He has received transfusions every 14-25 days since 2011, and considers the staff at Lexington Medical Center his “guardian angels.”

In anticipation of the upcoming blood drive Lamar wishes to address individuals who are undecided on whether or not they should donate.

“I, along with your fellow parishioners, present and past, that have received the gift of your blood: thanks. Your gift has helped us and many others sustain our lives. We thank you for your gift as well as your prayers.”

The next blood drive is Wednesday, March 27 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm on the Bloodmobile. To make an appointment online please visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “TrinityCathedral.” For more information see Mary Ellen Haile or Bibs Babson.