The Granite City High School National Honor Society is host to a series of the most successful Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center blood drives.

From 3:15 to 8 p.m. today, Granite City High School will host one of four annual blood drives in honor of former student Michelle Parker, a 1988 GCHS graduate, who is a married mother of two and has breast cancer. For years, Park has donated blood at the high school blood drives.

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Granite City teacher Bill Puhle attended school with Parker and is coordinating the blood drive effort.

“Michelle comes back from Troy and working in Belleville to donate at our blood drives, he said, so we are doing this in her honor,” he said. “So many cancer patients have to get blood transfusions and we decided we wanted to dedicate the drive to her.”

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This year, Granite City High School collected more than 500 units of blood and that could save up to 1,500 lives, Puhle said. He added that a cancer patient might have to get three blood transfusions in a week.

“The impact is huge,” he said of the blood collection. “If the blood isn’t there it would be impossible to get a cancer treatment and not be extremely ill from it.”

Granite City High School hosts four blood drives a year and the middle school holds two drives.

Puhle encourages community members to donate at Granite City High School today or at any other available location.

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