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A Glass Half Full

TJC’s leadership class, led by Don Blaine, has raised a total of $15,685.20 to help a fellow student, Alix Valdez, who is desperately in need of a new heart transplant.  

With the guidance of Business Management Professor Don Blaine, the class felt the need to save a life and immediately got to work by placing boxes for donations in the library, bookstore, and all around campus. If that weren’t enough, these students partnered with the restaurant Mercado’s for a promotion and also sold snow cones and brisket sandwiches outside of Rogers Student Center.

“They poured their hearts out into this,” said Clinton Pruitt, a sophomore student

majoring in Business Management, “This is a life, this is a person, this is somebody

we need to help save.”

Alix was diagnosed with a threatening heart disease known as Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, where the heart is unable to relax as blood returns from the body back into the heart, effecting the lungs, liver, and other body systems, according to PudMed Health.

“I don’t think anyone would have anything if they couldn’t handle it,” said Alix, as she leaned forward with a smile.

It is evident that she has impacted the lives of others who are involved in this mission. Her will to survive and strong spirit is felt by many people she crosses paths with, and there is scarce doubt that Alix will make an even greater impact in the future as she pursuits the career of being a nurse herself. She is driven to reach her highest potential, but the need for a heart transplant is still her primary focus.

Her family and close friends are by her side and have also been key motivational figures for the leadership class.  Even though the semester is over, they are still working to help save her life.

“After meeting her and her family…,” said Pruitt, “I was truly touched with the fact that this

wasn’t a family who was trying to get a free ride.  They had an honest need.”

Because of the class contribution and dedication, Alix is now closer than ever to reaching the $65,000 goal towards receiving a new heart.

“They haven’t stopped.  The class is over and their grades are in, but they are continuing to work and collect money.  They have done an excellent job, I’m super proud of them,” said Blaine.

The leadership class has an account open for donations to Alix at the register office since she is currently still in a waiting list to receive a new heart.

For more information on how to get involved as well as future events to help Alix, contact Don Blaine at (903) 510-2595 or dbla@tjc.edu.

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