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Saturday May 28th, 2016 8:28PM

Blood drive to honor Lumpkin Co. Sheriff

By Staff
DAHLONEGA - ​The Lumpkin County Sheriff's Department will be hosting a blood drive honoring Sheriff Stacy Jarrard May 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Dahlonega Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

​This marks the second time LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will hold a blood drive honoring the 46-year-old sheriff, and much has happened since the one in January, when 110 people volunteered to donate.

​Jarrard, who is in his sixth year as sheriff, is battling multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Part of his treatment, like many cancer patients, has included receiving blood and platelet transfusions, according to Lt. Wesley Burnett, the department's public information officer.

​Burnett said in March the sheriff underwent a stem cell transplant, using his own stem cells, to treat the condition, and he's continuing to improve and recover.

​"People may have spotted him driving around the county, and starting this month he's been coming in a few hours a day," Burnett said. "He's maintained full contact with us the whole time."

​Burnett explained that because of the effect of the treatment on Jarrard's immune system, he still can't be around large groups of people. He said Jarrard was touched by the turnout for the January blood drive.

​"He was definitely overwhelmed at the support of the community for him and for the cause," Burnett said.

​The May 30 blood drive will be held in the church fellowship hall located at 234 Hawkins St. because, Burnett said, there is more space for the donors and better parking than at the sheriff's office, where the first drive was held.

Those who plan to donate at Dahlonega Baptist Church are asked to sign-up in advance for their reserved time. Call LifeSouth's Gainesville office at 770-538-0500 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome at the May 30 drive and will be accepted as availability allows. Platelet or whole blood donations can also be made in Sheriff Jarrard's honor at LifeSouth's Northeast Georgia Center, located at 1200 McEver Road, Gainesville. Donors must be at least 17, or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required. All donors will receive a LifeSouth umbrella and a complimentary cholesterol screening.

For additional information contact LifeSouth representative Mary Owens at 706-429-7144.
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