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Students donate blood to help instructor’s daughter


After helping hundreds of Wesleyan students learn to scuba dive, instructor Bill Rucker on Tuesday asked the Wesleyan community to help  save his daughter’s life.

Dozens of students donated blood at the Sid Richardson Center in an effort to help save Erin Rucker, who suffers from a rare blood disease that has landed her in the intensive care unit at Harris HEB Hospital in Fort Worth.

“I figure that the least I could do is donated,” said theater major Sortia Burnham. “Bill was my scuba diving instructor and he is the reason I am now a certified open water diver.”

The one-day blood drive was sponsored by Wesleyan’s Department of Kinesiology. The workout room was filled with makeshift benches and nurses drawing blood from several people at once. The air was thick with the smell of rubbing alcohol and cookies being given to the donators as the recovered.

“I’m in the scuba program and I have known Bill for years,” said business and marketing major David Owen, 26. “I never met Erin, but since Bill asked for help I thought I would go all the way.”

Erin Rucker is a fourth grade teacher at Uplift Education, a nonprofit charter school, according to her Linkedin account. She graduated from TCU in 2004 with a degree in English and literature.  She is also a member of the Junior Women’s Club of Fort Worth.

“My daughter has a very rare blood disease that cause her white blood cells to destroy her red blood cells,” Rucker wrote Tuesday on his Facebook page. “We almost lost her on Sunday, with a blood count of 2 out of 12. The doctor told us that prayer would be the only thing that would get her through the night.”

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Students donate blood to help instructor’s daughter