Rice EMS to hold blood drive in honor of employee’s son Jan. 30-31

blood donation

Rice University Emergency Medical Services (REMS) will host a blood drive on campus Jan. 30-31 at Provisional Campus Facility Tent 1, located between the South Servery and Kraft Hall. It will take place between noon and 6 p.m. both days.

While Rice frequently participates in blood drives, this one has significant meaning as it will honor Leonel Romero, the 16-year-old son of Housing and Dining Interim Operations Manager Noel Romero. Leonel is undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia and requires blood transfusions.

Noel shared his family’s plight as well as love for each other, which inspired Owls to rally to assist Leonel and others like him.

“Just like every teenager, Leonel loves to play video games and read fiction literature, and he wants to become a chef in the future. The best thing that my son does is he gives his family a smile with his jokes,” Noel said. “In this battle, I call my boy the general, and he has a lot of soldiers. He's not alone, and we're not alone to overcome this battle. We're going to win.”

According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, many chemotherapy drugs temporarily impair blood cell production in the marrow and depress immune system functions, and almost all leukemia patients require transfusions during their care.

Due to overflowing support, the Jan. 30 donation slots filled up within minutes of opening, but reservations are still available for Jan. 31. To participate, sign up online for any of the available 15-minute time slots.

The drive is held in conjunction with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. For more information, contact REMS Community Relations Lieutenant Jay Mehta at 713-459-9521 or jam30@rice.edu.