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Alumni Groups To Collect Blood For Georgia Woman With Flesh-Eating Disease

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File photo of a vial of blood. (credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

File photo of a vial of blood. (credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (AP) — The alumni groups of two major universities are teaming up in an effort to get graduates and fans of the schools to give blood for a young Georgia woman battling a flesh-eating disease.

The University of South Carolina’s My Carolina Alumni Association said it is partnering with the University of Georgia Alumni Association to host a “border bash” blood drive for Aimee Copeland.

The 24-year-old developed necrotizing fasciitis after cutting her leg in a May 1 fall from a homemade zip line over a west Georgia river. Her left leg, other foot and both hands have been amputated.

Organizers say blood drives will be held June 11 in Columbia, S.C.; and June 13 in Athens, Ga. They say the blood drive will be nationwide, and alumni of the schools can go to any blood donation center and contribute in Copeland’s name.

“God bless USC and UGA! Gamecocks and Bulldogs lead the charge!,” the woman’s father, Andy Copeland, wrote on his Facebook page, where he’s been posting updates on her condition.

Andy Copeland graduated from the University of South Carolina. Aimee Copeland is a University of Georgia alum and a graduate student at the University of West Georgia.

Aimee Copeland has been in critical condition in the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta.

Burn and wound patients go through more units of blood than any other patients at Doctors Hospital, the South Carolina alumni group said.

As of Monday, Aimee Copeland has been through more than 200 units of blood products, including red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma, her father said.

“These units are slow to be replaced, and keep in mind that there are over 70 beds in the burn unit alone,” Andy Copeland said in a statement announcing the alumni blood drive.

“While Aimee has been at Doctors for about four weeks, some patients have been there for six months,” he said. “After each surgery, these patients require additional units of blood.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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