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Rock Canyon blood drive saves lives

Castle Pines residents and seniors at RCHS Courtenay Krause (left), Lauren Karaba (center) and Alexa Narlinger (right) donated blood during the RCHS blood drive in November.

By Maddy Merritt, RCHS intern writer; photo courtesy of Hannah Olsen

The Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) Key Club held its annual blood drive November 1 with help from Vitalant phlebotomists. The RCHS Key Club, headed by Spanish teacher and world language department chair Hannah Shear, is a philanthropic club designed to involve high school students in community service opportunities locally and statewide.

“Sometimes students are so busy with work, school, sports, etc. that they can’t always do as much volunteering as they’d like, and this is just a more convenient way to help,” Shear said. This year, about 75 students, parents, and staff members donated a total of 63 pints of blood, enough to save 189 lives, according to Shear.

“I decided to donate blood because it was something I’ve never done before, and it was only a small piece of my day that would help save multiple lives,” Lauren Karaba, Castle Pines resident and senior at RCHS said. Karaba donated with her friends, seniors Alexa Narlinger and Courtenay Krause, both Castle Pines residents.

Narlinger said she was not nervous about donating blood because she was able to do it with friends. Krause said, “It gave me the opportunity to give back to my community and help those in need.”

Shear said, “You know for a fact you’re saving lives and it gives the students a really great and effective way to make a difference and to serve someone else.”

Along with the blood drive, seniors Abby Miller and Ainsley Messenger organized a bone marrow drive. The girls collected cheek swabs from students 18 years old or older, staff and parents. Donors will then be placed on the bone marrow registry. Once on the registry, a potential donor can be called to give their bone marrow for a transplant if there is a match made with a patient’s bone marrow. Fourteen people signed up to be on the bone marrow registry during the drive, which was, “more than we expected, considering it is such a big commitment,” Miller said.

“We are doing this because we are working with a young man who has pediatric blood cancer, and his mom is very passionate about helping those who need these transplants,” Miller continued.

To learn more about Abby Miller and Ainsley Messenger’s fundraiser, which raises awareness and funds for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, visit



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