10th Annual Nick Ressler Memorial Blood Drive
Give blood in Nick's memory.
On April 9, 2001, Nick Ressler, a popular middle school student, died after a long battle with cancer.
Now, 10 years later, Nick's family is joining again with Massachusetts General Hospital in a blood drive in Nick's name. On April 2, the 10th annual Nick Ressler Memorial Blood Drive takes place at the Hunt Gym on Stow Street.
Nick's mom, Pam Ressler, president of Stress Resources in Concord, said the blood drive has grown every year. In fact, she said it is one of the largest conducted by Mass General, the hospital that became a second home to Nick and his family.
Neighbor Cindy Tenner works with the Resslers to run the annual blood drive, Pam said.
"When Nick was sick, Cindy organized a blood drive in Concord to make it more convenient for friends to donate out here," said Pam. Mass General sent a van to Concord and has been doing it ever since.
Pam said Nick died 10 days before a scheduled blood drive, "so the tradition started at that point." Though Nick can no longer benefit from donated blood, Pam said 1,500 people have gotten blood through the Nick Ressler drive.
Pam said every pint of blood can be used by three people, and with over 500 donors, "at least 1,500 people have benefited. It's very exciting."
She said Nick needed 300 pints of blood during his treatments.
"The need is enormous and never goes away," said Pam. "Technology hasn't changed that."
She is gratified that new young donors are participating, even mother-daughter pairs. "It's so cool to have intergenerational donations," she said.
Pam said Mass General sends a big recreational vehicle with four reclining seats for donations, and with a strict schedule, "people can be in and out in 30 minutes," she said. She is proud of the 10-year donors who come every year.
She said Mass General was an early player in blood donations, starting with the Coconut Grove fire in the 1940s.
For the 10th year, Ressler said Mass General is bringing "special giveaways" in Nick's honor, and the family is giving out cookies in the shape of a shooting star, Nick's symbol. The family will also give out pins with Nick's picture on it.
"Every anniversary is hard, but we are trying to make something good out of it," said Pam.
MassGeneral Hospital’s Bloodmobile will be at Hunt Recreation Center, 90 Stow St. Concord, on Saturday, April 2 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. for the 10th annual Nick Ressler Memorial Blood Drive. If you are between the ages of 16 and 65 you may be eligible to donate. Students under 18 may donate with a signed parental permission form. Email or call Pam Ressler (firstname.lastname@example.org or Cindy Tenner (email@example.com) for a convenient appointment time or questions.