(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Community members gathered at East Hills Shopping Center to support the late Will Walker.
Walker, 16, passed Monday morning on November 15 after his seven year battle with synovial sarcoma.
The city mourned the loss of the active Savannah, Mo. boy. His story has been followed by many throughout the years of fighting cancer, inspiring many around the area.
After learning that Will passed, a Red Cross volunteer who knew Will's story wanted to honor him.
“So many people wanted to do something and wanted to help and just didn’t know what we could do," said Debbie Consolver, a Red Cross Volunteer. "I’m a volunteer with the Red Cross and I thought, ‘you know…Will had to get a lot of blood, and maybe we could just do a blood drive in his memory.’”
Tuesday, a blood drive took place at East Hills Shopping Center near the food court in memory of Will's life.
Debbie Consolver met Will a few years ago at the Dancing with the Stars local fundraiser. It was then when she followed his story.
The Red Cross volunteer knew Will was courageous and a fighter and felt the need to give back in any way.
“Will was a fighter and he was courageous and he learned that from somewhere. He learned that–in my opinion–he learned that from his mother, and probably his brother and his sister…he fought so hard," said the volunteer. “And we’re really thankful to Will’s mother Jennifer, and letting us do this in Will’s memory. We really do appreciate the time that she gave us to help get this going.”
Several community members were present at the blood drive. Some had not heard of the event but were there to donate like they regularly do, and others were there to support Will and honor his life.
“I did know Will Walker," said Michael Doolan, a regular blood donor. "Anything we can do locally and for a good cause and for a good person, why not come out and spend 20 minutes and get this done.”
Michael Doolan has been donating blood regularly for a few years now after a work accident. He also knew of Will's story.
“It’s the epitome of courage, and you think your life is bad that you go through a little thing here, there…(that) he struggled through a lot of things and perseveres," said Doolan. "It finally took a toll; for years he’d been fighting it. But it was a great thing for him to persevere through it.”
To donate blood with the Red Cross, click here.