Students team up to support local family

Bailey Adcock and Marquietta Green

Phi Kappa Theta, along with Phi Mu, SAME and others, are helping to host a blood drive on March 30, at the Southern Hospitality Conference Center at Springhill Suites in Statesboro.

The blood drive is taking place in support of Irelynn Rose, a local six-year-old girl with a rare blood disease called Diamond Blackfan Anemia.

Diamond Blackfan Anemia is a bone marrow condition where a patient’s bone marrow does not produce enough red blood cells, leading patients like Irelynn to need blood transfusions every month.

The blood drive is not specifically being hosted by Phi Kappa Theta, but by the Irelynn Rose Foundation, who reached out directly to the Red Cross.

Phi Kappa Theta became aware of Irelynn’s condition when they were introduced to her and her family a couple years back. Since then, the fraternity has hosted many different fundraising events to support Team Irelynn.

Although it started off as a philanthropic event, it has become something much more to the men of the fraternity. They have started looking at Irelynn as a member of their family.

“The family is just a sweet family. You couldn’t tell anything was wrong with her if you weren’t told,” Nolan Jackson, sophomore mechanical engineering major and VP of Intellect for Phi Kappa Theta and president of SAME, said.

Jackson says that helping Irelynn and her family has given the fraternity a greater focus and they hope that working positively with the community will bring more members to their organization.

The current president of Phi Kappa Theta, Tyler Groover, has even stepped up as a council member for Team Irelynn.

The blood drive and Phi Kappa Theta’s previous events will contribute to the Irelynn Rose Foundation. The foundation seeks to not only help Irelynn, but also raise awareness for others who suffer the same condition.

This month Irelynn will be receiving her 100th blood donation.

“All of the money raised will be directly donated to Team Irelynn and will help with further research about her condition, we could possibly even find a cure in the future ,” Melissa Rose said. “Irelynn will also be at the blood drive , thanking each person who gives blood or a donating funds. She wants to thank each for person for saving her life.”

Something unique about this blood drive is the chance that, with someone who has the correct blood type, the blood will be directly donated to Irelynn.

“One of the Phi Kappa Theta brothers, Ren Densmore’s mom, Ashley Wright is a direct blood donor to Irelynn and donates every few months. Her contribution has been such a great help to our family and to Irelynn,” Melissa said.

Jackson encourages students to participate in the blood drive and help Team Irelynn out,

“We always need people to come out and be willing to donate blood. The best thing people can do for her right now is give blood,” Jackson said.

Irelynn’s parents, Melissa and Nick, have expressed a strong gratitude towards the members of Phi Kappa Theta.

“We have tried many ways to show our appreciation to them but we could never really thank them enough for their time and effort,” Nick Rose, Irelynn’s father, said.

For more information about Irelynn, and her condition, you can visit Irelynn and her parents will be at the Southern Hospitality Center Wednesday to show their appreciation to people who come to support.