LEWES, Del. – The second In Honor of the Handley Family Blood Drive, held Saturday, June 1 at Cape Henlopen High School, was a success as the community again rallied in touching fashion around childhood cancer survivor Madison Handley.

Ellen Ramsey, Madison Handley, and Braxton Handley

Blood drive coordinator Cathy Ramsey, a friend of the Handley family, organized this blood drive with Girl Scout Troop 701 and Blood Bank of Delmarva Account Manager Ralph Groves, and they booked 51 appointments. That brought in a grand total of 57 red cell units since some donors gave more than one unit in a procedure known as double red cells.

Cathy’s daughter, Ellen Ramsey, and Madison Handley are both members of Girl Scout Troop 701.

A close-knit combination of donors was the key to this drive’s success. That included family, such as Madison’s mother, Erin; Madison’s Papa and Mimi, i.e., John and Susan Hall; Cathy’s husband, Bill; friends like Scott Anderson, Linsday Caldwell, Kristen Baker, and Mark Freebery; local residents of Lewes, including Jane Sansone and Mark Alderman; families from the Cape Henlopen School District; and colleagues of Ramsey’s from Beebe Healthcare.

Madison, who received transfusions as part of her treatment, attended the blood drive with her mother and her brother, Braxton.

“We’re just here to help get the donations,” Erin Handley said. “If her name can help, then we are happy.”

This was the second straight year that Baker, a friend of the Ramsey family, donated her O positive, whole blood. She’s now gotten into a nice routine of donating blood twice a year thanks in part to this blood drive.

Meanwhile, Anderson donated double red cells because BBD is always in need of O positive blood.

“The Handley family has been very good friends with us, so I’m supporting little Maddie,” Anderson said. “The Blood Bank tells me all the time they need my O positive blood.”

Freebery was also inspired by Madison’s story.

“I always like to give blood whenever I can,” Freebery said. “And my friend Cathy Ramsey ran this blood drive for Madison, who goes to my daughter’s school [Beacon Middle]. My daughter said, ‘They’re doing it again, Daddy. You’ve got to do it for Madison!’ So, I signed up.”