Krista Delia is keeping the memory of her late grandfather, George B. Sloane, alive by giving back to the community that supported him through his illness.
For the third consecutive year, 17-year-old Krista has coordinated a blood drive with her family members to honor Sloane, a 41-year resident of New Providence who lost his battle with Leukemia in May of 2010.
The blood drive will be held this Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New Providence Firehouse, located at 175 Floral Ave. Delia said residents can either walk in the day of to donate or register online at: https://drm.nybloodcenter.org/PublicScheduler/GroupWelcome.aspx?Group=65973
Last year, Delia told Patch that despite the pain of losing her grandfather, she feels very proud to be able to honor her grandfather’s memory by taking action to help others in need.
“I know how much blood and platelets he needed during his illness, and it was there for him when he needed it," Krista said. "This is my way of giving back.”
Krista’s mom, Laura Delia, has helped her plan each blood drive throughout the past three years.
“My father passed away in May of 2010 and we ran the George B. Sloane Victory Blood Drive two years ago when he was still alive, because at that point he had gone into remission,” said Laura, of Springfield, NJ.
Operation Bling, a not-for-profit foundation that surprises or “blings” Cancer patients in the hospital, helped George get through one of his darkest days while he was battling his illness.
“My sister, who was in the room at the time, told me his face completely changed because he was able to [give] our mom a piece of jewelry,” Laura told Patch in 2011.
Bill and Christine Ferdinand, owners of Ferdinand Jewelers in New Providence who established Operation Bling in 2008, knew George and his wife very well, as they were customers for many years.
“Usually he and his wife would come in the store and kibitz. They were just always wonderful and always stuck their heads in to say hi,” Christine said. “They were huge cheerleaders for the Foundation from the beginning."
Christine said she and Bill became regular blood donors after George was diagnosed with Leukemia and they now donate blood about five times per year.
“When they first had the blood drive for her grandfather when he was alive, because he was a longtime customer, I put this whole big email thing out that said, ‘If George is brave enough to get chemo, we’ll be brave enough to give blood,’” Christine said. “We’ve become regular donors now.”
The Ferdinand and Delia families are encouraging all community members to give blood or platelets this Saturday to honor the memory of George B. Sloane and to help those in need.
If you would like to donate this Saturday, remember to bring ID and have plenty to eat and drink prior to donating.
To give blood, you must be in good health, weigh 110 lbs. or more, and be at least 17 years of age (16 with a permission of a parent.)
Have questions about eligibility to donate blood? Please call 1-800–933–2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.