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Blood Assurance will host the third annual “Tighten Up and Donate” blood drive Friday, March 17 in honor of the late J.D. Wooten, who lost his battle with acute myeloid leukemia in March 2014. Signal Mountain resident Cindy Pare created the annual blood drive event in honor of her father, a resident of Raleigh, N.C. Wooten was a lifelong blood donor before becoming a blood and platelet recipient during his 29-month battle with leukemia.

The community is invited to donate blood or platelets in honor of Wooten at the drive, scheduled for Blood Assurance’s downtown Chattanooga donor center from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Pare will be on hand to thank donors for honoring her father and helping meet the needs of leukemia patients who are fighting in the community today.

The phrase “tighten up” was one of Wooten’s favorite sayings, using it as a reminder to stay focused, be faithful and keep persevering despite suffering and pain.

“Blood donors prolonged my father’s life and gave our family extra precious time with him,” Pare said. “I hope to continue to remind donors that behind every donation is a face and family whose hearts are filled with thankfulness for their gift of life.”

Pare continues her father’s donor legacy, serving as a long-time O negative donor with Blood Assurance.

To schedule an appointment to donate at the “Tighten Up” blood drive on March 17, please call 423-756-0966. Walk-ins are also welcome. Blood Assurance’s downtown Chattanooga donor center is located at 705 East 4th Street, across from the UTC McKenzie Arena.

Blood Assurance believes in the power of “honor drives” for a victim who required blood donations due to a trauma situation or ongoing illness, as well as those who have passed away. The host may choose to invite relatives, friends, co-workers and community members who are willing to make a blood donation in their honor. The blood drive may be held at any Blood Assurance donor center or on the organization’s bloodmobile at a location agreed upon by the host and location owner.