Queen Creek’s Hewitt wins car during blood drive promotion

Teen blood donor and Queen Creek resident Olivia Hewitt won a Volkswagen Golf automobile during the Summer Drive to Save Lives contest presented by United Blood Services and Volkswagen. She accepted her award Oct. 7 alongside Owen, a 14-year-old bone cancer survivor who shared his story at the prize ceremony. (Special to the Independent/United Blood Services)

Teen blood donor and Queen Creek resident Olivia Hewitt won a Volkswagen Golf automobile during the Summer Drive to Save Lives contest presented by United Blood Services and Volkswagen. She accepted her award Oct. 7 alongside Owen, a 14-year-old bone cancer survivor who shared his story at the prize ceremony. (Special to the Independent/United Blood Services)

 

Teen blood donor Olivia Hewitt of Queen Creek is the winner of a 2015 Volkswagen Golf automobile in United Blood Services “Summer Drive to Save Lives” Volkswagen campaign.

Her name was drawn from among the 44,509 donors who gave blood June 1-Aug. 31 and were automatically entered to win during the summer crusade to increase blood donations. Ten finalists were drawn and gathered Oct. 7 for the grand prize ceremony at United Blood Services headquarters.

A teen donor was added as one of the 10 finalist categories for the Volkswagen raffle to encourage more students to give blood during the summer, according to a press release. Olivia, a 17-year-old student at Benjamin Franklin High School, rushed to get her driver’s license just so she could qualify for the Oct. 7 Volkswagen grand prize ceremony.

She told the audience she donates blood because her dad taught her it is the right thing to do.
“It can change someone’s life,” she said, “and that makes me feel like a hero.”

She learned the blood she donated on Aug. 31 had a rare antibody combination, so it was specifically matched to a female patient with Sickle Cell Disease at an east Valley hospital who requires regular transfusions.

Olivia accepted the prize car alongside Owen, a 14-year-old bone cancer survivor who shared his story at the event.  Owen was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was just 6 years old, and since that time, has required 89 surgeries. Today, Owen is cancer free, but he will require additional orthopedic surgeries on his leg and follow-up visits.

“The seven Valley Volkswagen Dealers and Volkswagen of America genuinely believe in giving back to the communities in which we live and do business,” said Lunde’s Peoria Volkswagen owner Dennis Lunde on behalf of the dealerships. “What better way to support United Blood Services in their efforts than to make sure there is an adequate blood supply for those in need.”

For more information on how to blood donorship and blood donation events, call 877-UBS-4376 or visit www.UnitedBloodServicesAZ.org.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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