Give blood to honor Johansen’s memory

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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 12:00 am

Family and friends of a Papillion-La Vista special education teacher are hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross and shoe drive in her memory.

Friday marks the first anniversary since Meighan Johansen, 29, lost her battle with cervical cancer.

Johansen, wife of Jerrid and mother of 6-year-old Brayden Neill, received many blood transfusions during the course of her cancer treatments and encouraged those who wanted to help to give blood.

Carissa Husbands, Johansen’s college friend, is one of the organizers of the Hope Blood Drive. The drive is a way to keep Johansen’s memory and spirit alive.

“Meighan was the most genuine and inspiring person I have ever known,” Husbands said in a press release. “She always had hope and told us not to give up.”

The community is invited to give blood in Johansen’s memory and help give hope to other patients like her. While donors of all blood types are needed, the Red Cross has an urgent need for donors with blood types O negative, O positive, B negative and A negative.

Because of Johansen’s love of shoes, community members can also donate new or gently-used shoes at the Hope Blood Drive. Organizers will donate collected shoes to Soles4Soles, a global non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty.

The Hope Blood Drive will be March 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Papillion-La Vista High School, 402 E. Centennial Road.

Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome.

To make an appointment, visit or contact Carissa Husbands at 402-960-7590 or, Lacey VanRoy at 402-297-7494 or or Samantha Deck at 402-841-0826 or

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required to donate blood. Individuals who are 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years old or younger may also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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