continued “Obviously, when Taylor was in the hospital, she needed a lot of blood, about 70 units in the first 24 ours,” Guido said. “We just, in Taylor’s spirit, thought, what can we do to give back? How can we help others? So we thought a blood drive would be a great way [to do that], to ask people to give blood in her honor. We’re using the term ‘to help save a life’ by donating blood in Taylor’s honor.”
The Red Cross wants to see 90 people signed up before the drive on the 4th, a date the Fleming family chose so that Taylor’s friends, many of whom have gone off to college, would be home to attend. And people have already begun signing up, even those who are new to the process.
“I think one of the really cool things to come out of this is that we’re getting people to sign up who have never donated before,” Guido said. “They’re sending us messages — ‘This is the reason why I’m going to donate now.’ I think that’s really cool.”
It shows the continuing influence Taylor has, more than a year after her death. It means a lot to her family as they continue to struggle with the loss.
“You could say good say good days and bad days, but it’s actually more like good hours and bad hours,” Guido said. “They’ve said that family and friends and the love and support of the family is getting them through. They’re forever grateful for that. Day by day, hour by hour. The holidays are very difficult. Last holiday, I think everybody was still numb. That’s just the reality of how it is for us. Everyone’s under the realization that nothing will ever be as it was. There’s always going to be a sad moment, even when you’re trying to celebrate.”
Taylor’s parents, sisters and extended family hope to make the blood drive an annual event. If they do, it will join a softball tournament designed to raise money for a scholarship in her name, as well as an all-in-fun kickball tournament, both held over the summer.
“I think the number one thing is that we don’t want anyone to ever forget who Taylor was, what she stood for, so her life doesn’t fade away,” Guido said. “She was such a good person. The big saying is God only takes the best. With Taylor, we know that’s true.”