(As published in the Chicago Tribune)
Kristin Arielle Oliver always gave from her heart.
As a teenager, Kristin, who grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, donated blood to help a young boy in the community diagnosed with leukemia.
“Kristin was a giver,” said her mother, Pam Oliver. “She had a tremendous heart and cared deeply for all those around her.”
As an adult, Kristin found herself needing the life giving donation of blood when she was diagnosed with a rare heart cancer, sarcoma of the heart, at age 29. Her chemotherapy treatment required her to receive blood transfusions.
“With every transfusion, I was grateful for the donation,” said Oliver,
After a two-year battle with the disease, Kristin died in June, 2020, and her family is honoring her memory with a blood drive and food drive.
The blood drive is from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 23 and from noon to 4 p.m. April 24 at Sgt. Means Park, 20712 Western Ave., Olympia Fields.
“One way for us to give back in memory of Kristin is to organize this communitywide blood drive in our hometown every year,” said Kristin’s father, Kelvin Oliver.
The family also is asking participants to donate a nonperishable food item which will be donated to The Center for Food Equity in Medicine, which provides food for people facing health challenges in the Chicago area.