Community Responds To Help Justin

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There is a young boy in need of help and a call is going out for the people of the Rim country to help the child.

Justin Richardson, a fifth-grader at Julia Randall Elementary, has leukemia. He was originally diagnosed at the age of three. After his first lengthy encounters with chemotherapy, his leukemia was believed to have gone into permanent remission.

However, Justin has relapsed three times and is now in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Currently, he is at Children's Hospital in Phoenix undergoing three months of chemotherapy. Justin will then go to University Medical Center in Tucson for three months and a bone marrow transplant.

Following the transplant, he will be home-bound because of the resulting low immunity level. The medical assault on Justin's leukemia will keep him away from school and all his favorite activities for at least a year.

When friends asked Justin's parents, Cheryl and Gary Richardson, what could be done to help, it was recommended a blood drive be held in Justin's name.

The Justin Richardson Blood Drive is from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 17 in the JRE Cafeteria.

To schedule an appointment, call Gretchen at 978-4163 or go online to make an appointment at www.unitedbloodservices.org, and use the code "justin."

It is recommended an hour be allowed for a donor appointment. While drawing blood only takes a few minutes, there is paperwork required, plus a 15-minute rest following the donation. During this time refreshments from Cucina Paradiso and Famous Sam's will be provided. Childcare will be available.

In addition to the blood drive, fund-raisers are planned.

A bake sale is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15 and 16, at Safeway to raise additional funds. Baked goods can be dropped off at High Desert Dentistry, 404 W. Main, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14, or at the sale, according to coordinator Kim Blazer.

For more information, call her at 472-8400.

Monetary contributions will be collected around town to buy a wireless, Internet compatible laptop computer for Justin. It will be used to let him stay in touch with his friends, get homework assignments and take tests, so he can keep up in school.

Donation jars will be at local businesses, or a direct contribution may be made at Safe Q Federal Credit Union, 512 S. Beeline Highway, account number 8808-700.

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