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“Can Kansas City’s biggest Red Cross drive meet the historic need?” That’s what a banner headline in The Leaven asked.
Katie Reynolds Scott lost her life to bone cancer seven years after graduating with the class of 2011 from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.
After seeing the dire need for blood transfusions in her own situation, Katie spent her last days starting what is now the largest Red Cross blood drive in Kansas City and has impacted nearly 3,000 lives. It is held on the anniversary of her death, Feb. 4, this year at the Sheraton Hotel in Overland Park.
“The fact that she was thinking about how she could help other people when she was near the end of her life shows what kind of person she was,” Liz Phillips, Katie’s sister, told The Leaven.
“It gave her life,” said Ryan Scott, Katie’s husband.
It is needed in 2022 more than ever, after a national blood crisis was declared on Jan. 11.
“It’s kind of like a cry for help,” Scott, who serves on the board of the American Red Cross, told The Leaven. “Doctors have to make potentially unfair decisions because they don’t have the resources to be able to treat patients.”
To commemorate Katie’s love for St. Thérèse of Lisieux, her family erected a statue overlooking the soccer field at Benedictine College where she used to play.
“It’s amazing to see every single person who shows up at that drive,” Phillips told The Leaven. “Katie had an impact on their lives — whether they knew her or didn’t.”
“She was very excited for the amount of people we got for the very first blood drive. She really loved trying to get as many people [as possible] to participate,” she said. “I think it’s a simple and realistic way to help other people.”
“Whether it’s someone that needs blood from a pregnancy [complication], a trauma situation or cancer, people need blood,” Scott added. “Your donation will save a life.”
Katie’s family and friends have now purchased two Red Cross emergency blood vehicles displaying Katie’s name that travel through the Midwest to carry donations to a testing center.
To donate blood in the blood drive Katie Reynolds Scott inspired:
February 4, 2022
6100 College Blvd.
Overland Park 66211
Use the sponsor code “katiescott,” then click “See Times.”