DOVER, Del. – The second Remy’s Heroes Blood Drive was just what the doctor ordered as the event booked 37 donors at the Delaware Department of Insurance on Tuesday, June 18.

That translated into 32 units during a critical time period, Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) Account Manager Ralph Groves said. With school out for summer, BBD must find ways to make up for a 25 percent drop in collections.

Four smiling blood donors.

To that end, the sophomore effort of Remy’s Blood Drive coordinated by Roberta Jones was a stellar effort. 

Remington “Remy” Welch was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, on November 25, 2022. It wasn’t easy, but he’s since recovered. He received four transfusions as part of his journey. (Secret Phrase: LIVES)

Remy made an appearance with his mother, Jen Welch, a state Department of Insurance employee who presented to donate blood. Remy looked good as his curly, brown hair had grown back, and he flashed a smile for the BBD camera.

“I’m really proud of the staff,” Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro said. “This is our second annual blood drive in Remy’s name, and we had nearly 40 folks come out today. That’s 37 [blood donors] who potentially may not have otherwise [donated]. We know that during the summer months we always have a potential shortage of blood and how critical that is for folks in this region.

“It’s not something that I decided to do; the staff told me we were going to do it,” he added. “We’re like a big family here. I’m pleased to be small part of helping folks who need it most in our community.”

Joining Navarro to donate blood were Delaware Department of Insurance employees Dee Jones, Jessica Luff, Joanne Caiola, John Tinsley, and Christina Haas, a first-time donor inspired by Remy.

The drive also attracted donors from Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) employees who work in the same building, including Emily Thompson and Lavone Brown.

“I work in the building, and I saw the flyer. So, I had to sign up,” Thompson said. “My niece actually had cancer. I donate all the time at the blood bank.”

In addition, Melissa Gott, Remy’s fourth-grade teacher at Clayton Elementary, was among the donors. Remy inspired her to donate again, after it had several years since her last donation.

Colleen Ward, a nurse at Bayhealth, also knows the Welch family, donated double red cells in Remy’s honor.