Blood drive to be held Jan. 6 in honor of former Grapeland teen

By Cheril Vernon

Messenger Copy Editor

CROCKETT  – A blood drive is scheduled in early January in Crockett to benefit a former Grapeland teenager who is currently in critical condition at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston awaiting a liver transplant.

The blood drive will be held in honor of Emilie Pope, 16, daughter of Amber and Justin Martin of Marble Falls, formerly of Grapeland. She is the granddaughter of Billy and Brenda Christian and Janice Martin, all from Grapeland. The Martin family, who also has two other children, Destiny, 18, and Matthew, 13, moved to Marble Falls a few months ago.

The blood drive will be held from 11 a.m. to  4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6 in front of the HEB grocery store, located at 1035 E. Loop 304 in Crockett by Carter BloodCare. Look for the Carter BloodCare bus in the parking lot. Regular blood transfusions are required for Emilie’s current medical treatments and the community is being asked to help support the blood supply in her honor.

“They are waiting on a liver transplant for Emilie. Her liver has totally failed, it’s no good,” her grandmother Brenda Christian said in a recent interview.

Emilie was life-flighted from Marble Falls to Temple on Dec. 1. On Dec. 2, she was life-flighted from Temple to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Currently, Pope is on a Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS®) liver support machine, one of the few machines available in the United States.

For those planning to donate blood, remember to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water one to two hours before donating. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, feel well on the day of donation, and present a government-issued photo ID each time they give blood.  Potential blood donors may volunteer beginning at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds may give independently and there is no upper age limit for donating blood. Those who donate blood in January will receive a special Dallas Mavericks t-shirt and a voucher for “BOGO” Dallas Mavericks tickets.

For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call 1-800-366-2834 or visit

According to Carter BloodCare, less than four percent of eligible blood donors actually donate.

“In the winter months, it is especially challenging to encourage folks to take time for blood donation. And the request for blood products by hospitals, for their patients, does not wane. Daily, more than 600 patients require blood transfusions for serious health concerns. For this reason, healthy volunteer blood donors are in high demand in January and continue to give a priceless New Year’s blessing: the gift of life,” a Carter BloodCare news release said.

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