ASH ‘works’ for Shelby through blood drive

The Academy of the Sacred Heart recently hosted the seventh annual Shelby Leonhard Memorial Blood Drive. Leonhard was a Sacred Heart student who lost her battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2011 when she was in eighth grade.
With blood drive T-shirts, cookies in the shape of happy blood droplets and stickers saying “I did Shelby’s Work! I gave blood,” the drive attracted many Sacred Heart students, parents, faculty, staff and the community.
“Even though giving blood can be kind of scary, knowing that it is for a good cause and that one pint of blood can save three lives is very reassuring,” said junior Catherine Lulich.
For some students, the blood drive has become a rite of passage when they reach the eligible age to donate.
“Donating blood is something I have wanted to do since Shelby was diagnosed with cancer when I was in fifth grade,” said junior Sophie Capella. “Being able to finally participate in this great event was an amazing experience.”
“The blood drive is very close to my heart, and I think it’s a great way for the students and faculty to serve the community,” said Shelby’s sister Barrett Leonhard, a Sacred Heart senior. “Over the past seven years, we have donated more than 700 pints of blood to patients in need, which means that over 2,000 lives have been saved!”
Much of the planning for the blood drive was coordinated by the Shelby Works Club, composed of Sacred Heart students. The club also held a “Week of Giving” in the Upper School in conjunction with the blood drive. To kick off the week, several students cut their hair for Pantene Lengths to help cancer patients; the Shelby Works Club sold hair scrunchies to raise money for cancer research; and “peace pops” (chocolate in the shape of a peace sign on a stick) were sold to raise money for cancer research. A peace party was held to celebrate a successful week of giving.
“I love this club because it strengthens our Sacred Heart community and brings us closer to an even larger New Orleans community,” said senior Kyle Maher, a member of the Shelby Works Club. “I especially love seeing students get excited about the blood drive.”
Sophie Liberto is an Academy of the Sacred Heart junior.

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