Woman Holds Blood Drive To Honor Unwritten Stories Of Cancer Victims

Friday, September 25th 2020, 5:35 pm
By: Sawyer Buccy

A woman is organizing the tenth annual blood drive in honor of her husband who died from an aggressive form of lymphoma.

She said this event has not only helped her grieve but is helping save lives in the process.

There are some love stories that last forever, even if they end on this earth too soon.

"The wedding ring is an unbroken circle which symbolizes unending and everlasting love," said Hayley Howell.

It is the memories that stay alive as long as we let them. This is true for Hayley’s marriage to Brian Howell.

"He brought out the good in me. He didn't care what size I was, how I looked, if I had makeup on or not, he just was present with me," said Hayley.

Hayley said she fell in love with Brian the night she met him and never looked back. They got married in 2008.

"He was everything," said Hayley.

They had plans for their future which were suddenly cut short by Brian's lymphoma diagnosis in Feb 2010. Brian fought hard. There was no doubt in Hayley’s mind he would beat his cancer, but he passed away on September 22, 2010.

"That was the worst day," said Hayley.

Even though Brian isn't physically here anymore, Hayley has made sure she keeps his memory alive in every way she can.

"Like any cancer patient, he used countless units of blood and platelets and I started out donating platelets,” Hayley said. “I am like, ‘There has to be something I can do more.’”

She partnered with the Oklahoma Blood Institute and started an annual blood drive in Brian's honor.

"I really don't think people understand the importance of giving blood until they actually need it or they have loved ones that need it," said Hayley"I get to share him every year with everyone. That is what I feel like. Like he is still alive in this drive"

She wrote a book called Unwritten, about their love story- made up of Facebook Posts Hayley made as Brian fought to live.

"It was like my tribute to him," said Hayley.

She is hoping that one year from now, ten years from now, 20 years from now, Brian's story will continue to give people hope.

"Life is so short. You never know if someone is going to be gone tomorrow,” Hayley said. “He was my Brian and I was so honored to be with him.”

The 10th and final blood drive held in Brian's memory will be Saturday in Bartlesville at the Washington Park Mall. This will start at 10 a.m. in the morning and end at 4 p.m.