Soldier's mom won't let cancer keep her from Veterans Day blood drive

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 11 at 9:07 PM

It's a cliche of course, to bleed red, white and blue.

But sometimes, it's the perfect cliche; Like when you line up to donate blood on Veterans Day to help a co-worker, and to honor her soldier son.

"My husband is a vet. All my brothers, seven brothers went through the military," said Celestina Contreras, while hooked up to a blood bag.

She said giving blood to the Red Cross is one way to give back - something more than a thank you, or a salute.

"It's 11/11/11, and it's Veterans Day," said another donor, rolling up his sleeves.

Those were two good reasons more than 30 people donated at a blood drive Friday. Laura Tiede was the third.

"I told them if you're going to take up a collection, don't give it to me, give it to the Red Cross," Tiede said.

She's battling pancreatic cancer. Doctors told her she has only months to live. She doesn't believe them.

But if there is bad news to deliver to her son, Frederick, in the Army, she said it's the Red Cross that will get it there.

"He is in Afghanistan right now," Tiede said. "Deployed three days before I was going for my surgery."

Laura Tiede is herself an Army vet, in a family of Army vets.

"My uncle was killed in World War II. One of them," she said. "The other made it through. He's got a Purple Heart."

Her co-workers at Legal Aid of Fort Worth wanted to do something to help her.

She told them this will meet many needs. Donors gave enough to help 81 patients. And the Red Cross is a secondary supplier to the military.

"If something were to happen to him he would need blood over there," Tiede said. "They use a lot of blood over there in the war."

So on Veterans Day, with a soldier's mom locked in a battle with cancer, it seemed more than a appropriate to pitch in.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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