Clayton woman lives on through blood & organ donations

A memorial blood drive

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - It looks like a typical blood drive in Clayton.

But Wednesday’s event carries extra meaning for some.

“I am Lucy Reff’s mom,” Laura Reff said, “and that’s who this blood drive is in memory of.”

Laura Reff says Lucy was a medical student at Upstate Medical University.

“Her career goal was to save lives and help people medically,” she said.

Lucy lost her life on January 15, 2019

She was 23 and only months away from getting married.

But Laura says as an organ donor, her daughter has still achieved her goals.

“Her organs were able to be donated to four people. She saved a heart, a liver, and two kidney recipients.”

Now, Laura says she promotes organ donor registration in Lucy’s memory and a blood drive to honor her seemed like a good next step.

A blood drive was held in Clayton Wednesday in memory of 23 year old Lucy Reff, who died in January 2019.
A blood drive was held in Clayton Wednesday in memory of 23 year old Lucy Reff, who died in January 2019. (Source: WWNY)

“These people who are family, friends, and even just walk-ins that don’t even know her, are helping other people to a better through blood donation,” she said.

People attending Wednesday’s blood drive also had the opportunity to register as organ donors.

“We’ve had a few people register today for organ donation,” Laura said.

Red Cross account representative Kara Vormwald says the Clayton blood drive had a steady flow of people coming in, in part because Lucy was a village resident.

“Since it is in memory of Lucy and people really want to come to honor her memory and give blood,” Vormwald said.

And Vormwald says every bit of blood donated is helpful.

“We are meeting the demands of the hospitals,” she said, but, of course, the need for blood is always constant. The blood does have a shelf life."

Laura says there are more organ donation registration and blood drives planned for the future.

And there’s one thing driving her to do it all: “To keep Lucy’s memory alive,” she said.

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