TUPELO – A national blood donor advocate will wheel his way into Tupelo this weekend as part of his trek across America.
Retired Police Officer Larry Frederick of Santa Rosa, Calif., needed more than 100 pints of blood when he was injured in the line of duty in 1982.
This summer, Frederick and his daughter, Adella, biked from California to New Hampshire. They are driving home on the return trip to visit blood centers in another 40 cities, including Tupelo.
United Blood Services is inviting the community to a free Lunch with Lifesavers event Saturday to honor Frederick. The event will be held at noon at the center on Eason Boulevard in Tupelo.
“We’re just blessed to have him,” said Diane Wolfe, community relations manager for the Tupelo office of United Blood Services.
This Saturday will mark 21 years to the day that Frederick was hit by a drunken driver as he was speaking to a stopped motorist. He needed 110 units of blood and nine major surgeries to repair the extensive injuries that left him permanently disabled.
In addition to his national bike tours, Frederick continues to speak on the importance of blood donations and a safe blood supply. In 1996, Frederick biked across America to promote blood donation, and starting June 5, he repeated his journey this year.
“It stresses the importance of donating blood on a regular basis,” Wolfe said. “You never know when it will be your turn.”
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michaela Morris / NEMS Daily Journal