The Remy’s Heroes Blood Drive being held in honor of Remington “Remy” Welch is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 17 is at the Delaware Department of Insurance in Dover, Delaware.

Remy is the son of Jen Welch, an employee at the Department of Insurance, and her colleagues Roberta Jones and Elizabeth Morgan have worked with Blood Bank of Delmarva Account Manager Ralph Groves to hold a blood drive in honor of Remy.

Remy flashes his smile.

“I don’t think people understand how important blood donation is until they are in a situation or a loved one is in a situation,” said Roberta, the blood drive coordinator. “Once blood donation becomes personal, people seem to want to donate.  As a society we need to be more compassionate and come to the understanding blood donation and the need of blood is personal to someone every single day.”

To Ms. Jones’ point, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds, said Nicole Pineault, Blood Bank of Delmarva Director, Donor Resources. Remy puts a human face to that statistic locally, where BBD needs 350 donors per day.

“Hospital patients, especially children, demonstrate the need for blood in a powerful way,” said. “This blood drive is steadily filling up thanks to the way this courageous young man has inspired the local community.”

Jen Welch tells her son Remy’s story in her own words, below:

Remy walks the hospital corridor in his hero cape.

Remy was diagnosed with ALK+, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, on November 25, 2022.  To say this has been a nightmare is an understatement. If you’ve ever been in my office you can see that this child is my absolute WORLD. Through all of this, we discovered that Remy’s blood type is O positive. What does this mean? …It means that he can only receive O positive or O negative blood in return.

On January 11, 2022, Remy needed his first blood transfusion.  The nasty thing about chemo is that it does not discriminate against good and bad cells.  It kills all rapidly dividing cells.  What are those cells in your body?  It’s your digestive tract, your hair follicles, and your bone marrow along with the cancer cells.  That is why you feel nauseous, get mouth sores, lose your hair and unfortunately stop making the valuable red & white blood cells and platelets in your bone marrow.  So while the chemo kills the bad, it takes out the good too.  You reap the benefits of a blood transfusion almost immediately.  Color comes back to your face,  you have your energy back, and more importantly, you get to go home and be with your family.

The blood drive scheduled for May 17 is emblematic of the fact that Remy’s Heroes is a large group of friends and family coming together to support Remy and the entire Welch family while they battle cancer.

Roberta Jones and colleague Elizabeth Morgan are both thrilled and humbled for all of the support they have received for Remy’s blood drive. 

“We want Remy to know he is surrounded by heroes every day, not all heroes wear capes,” said Roberta, who is Director, Human Resources at the Department of Insurance. “My first blood donation occurred when the blood mobile came to my high school and I was able to donate; that was in 1986. Our school did a fantastic job of explaining and teaching us how important blood donations were. I personally have been a passionate supporter of blood donations ever since.  So when Jen reached out to me about hosting a blood drive in Remy’s honor I was 100% on board.

“There are multitudes of people from all ages and all backgrounds in need of blood,” she added. “Most people can donate. You just have to want to do it, and pray someone else wants to do it when you need it.”

So far, 64 of 80 appointments have been filled for the Remy’s Heroes Blood Drive. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 17 at the Department of Insurance,  1351 W. North St., Suite 101, Dover, DE 19904. To schedule an appointment, click here or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.