GARDENDALE, AL -
I can't imagine dealing with the death of your own child. If anything happened to one of my boys you can plan on just burying me too.
Then, I meet someone like Lisa Adams. She probably felt just like I do before her daughter Roxanne died. But instead of dying too, she kept putting one foot in front of another and started looking for ways to use her loss to help and encourage others.
She's convinced Roxanne would have wanted that more than anything.
Roxanne Adams' first blood drive was in April 2011. It was the day after her birthday. She had recently received six units of blood, and so, for her birthday, she wanted to pay back by having this blood drive.
"Well after a whole year in the hospital and being in and close calls, you really learn to appreciate what you get and there's no other need. I didn't want a party, there's nothing else to compare," Roxanne told us in April 2011.
"It was actually at her funeral I remember hearing several people talk about the blood drive, because it was so fresh, it was only six weeks before she passed away that we had the first blood drive. Everybody talked about how wonderful it was, this remarkable thing that she had done and I kind of made the decision then, I said 'Well, then this is how I will continue to celebrate her birthday every year and honor her memory," Roxanne's mom Lisa Adams said.
The Roxanne Adams annual blood drive is a big deal. It was a big deal to Roxanne and continues to be a big deal to her mom and her friends, who are still involved every year. Lindsay Tatom was one of Roxanne's best friends and wants to help honor her memory.
"To give back, just to give in any way you can. If you are able to give, you should be able to give back, I think you should," Lindsay explained.
The need for blood is always great, and giving to honor someone like Roxanne Adams is a bonus.
"We need 2,000 donors every month just to supply hospitals here in Birmingham and giving blood is an anonymous donation, but everyone who donates has a personal connection as to why they do it and we appreciate the personal connections," said Brian Garrett with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.
The fourth-annual Roxanne Adams Blood Drive will take place from 10 a.m. unti l4 p.m. Saturday March 29 at the Gardendale Civic Center.
"I'm sure she would be very pleased and one of her favorite phrases, and I'm sure she would tell everybody, she would say, 'Give blood, it's worth it,'" Roxanne's mom Lisa said.
Folks who knew Roxanne Adams will tell you that if you didn't know her, you really missed something. I believe them, too.