STANTON, Del. – Joseph Marra thought it would be a good idea for his family to donate together in memory of his late daughter-in-law.

The family patriarch didn’t know how his son, Michael A. Marra, would feel about it, but it turned out he was 100 percent on board with honoring his late wife, Chelsea. Chelsea passed away seven years ago from leukemia.

“She passed away 12/23/2016. She received countless transfusions,” Michael said. “I totally lost track. There were weeks where we were [at the hospital] everyday, and there were transfusions of blood and platelets – you name it.

“My Dad was the inspiration for this; he’s a regular donor and very committed to it,” he added. “He’s a great guy.”

In all, seven members of the Marra family presented to donate at the Blood Bank of Delmarva’s Christiana Donor Center on Wednesday, December 20 – Joseph and Carol, Craig, Kristen, Michael A., Sadie, and Michael T. Marra. Grandchildren Mattea (she, Saide and Michael T. are Craig’s children) and Vincent Marra (Michael’s son) came along for the ride.

Mattea had just donated at Elkton High School the week before.

Their timing was impeccable as collecting during the holiday season has been challenging for BBD. In addition, this was the first time Michael A. had donated in nearly five years, and it was the first time his mother, Carol, and nephew, Michale T. had ever donated. So, we can give credit to Joseph Marra for bringing in both first-time and lapsed donors!

“We hope to make this an annual tradition,” Jospeh said.

Afterward, the Marra family went to dinner at Café Napoli, and Joseph and Carol Marra looked forward to hosting a traditional Italian tradition known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve for the family.

Buon Natale!