Eight-year-old Andy Dunn of McMinnville is feeling as tall as his big brother, Ray, an MTSU freshman, right now.
The youngest Dunn, a cancer survivor thanks in part to donated blood products, will be the official “kickoff kid” at the MTSU-Western Kentucky football game at Floyd Stadium Oct. 6, when the American Red Cross announces the winner of next week’s Oct. 3-5 campus blood drives.
“Andy is eight years old now and had his three-year ‘transplant birthday’ in June,” explains the Dunn brothers’ mom, Dot. “All of his tests have come back with no evidence of disease. God has been VERY good to us.”
The youngest Dunn was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in 2008 and underwent an excruciating series of tests, treatments (including a stem-cell transplant and a unique drug study) and follow-up care at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to help him beat the disease. Now he’s a third-grader, rambunctious and strong, already in the middle of a busy school year at Hickory Creek Elementary School, and looking forward to visiting his big brother on the Murfreesboro campus.
Ray Dunn, part of the newest class in the University Honors College at MTSU, is in the middle of a busy school year, too. He’s glad to encourage others to donate blood in the “Bleed Blue” campaign to save more lives.
MTSU’s campaign, called “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU,” is headquartered at the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center and still has donation appointments available. It’s open to MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors and residents of surrounding communities to help surpass this year’s total collection goal of 1,050 units of blood.
MTSU supporters can donate blood on:
• Monday, Oct. 3, from noon to 6 p.m.;
• Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and
• Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Reserved parking will be available for blood donors all three days. Donors can go to www.redcrossblood.org, click the blue “Enter Sponsor Code” box in the middle of the page and then enter “mtsu19” to register and make an appointment.
“We hope everyone can come by Oct. 3-5 and donate a pint of blood to help people who’ll need it in the community, and then come see Andy and the rest of the Blue Raiders celebrate winning the blood drive AND the football game on Oct. 6,” Dot Dunn says. “Donating blood is a very simple thing that saves lives every day.”