Thirty pints of blood donated in the name of Calexico teacher/coach David Tessada

May 08, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — U.S. Border Patrol agents and Calexicans from all walks of life donated 30 pints of blood Tuesday in the name of David Tessada at a blood drive organized by Imperial Valley Blood Services of the San Diego Blood Bank.

Tessada is a longtime De Anza Junior High School physical education instructor and cross-country coach here who is receiving treatment in La Jolla for a rare blood abnormality.

As a part of his treatment Tessada receives blood transfusions. He was diagnosed with the rare condition last year. He taught at De Anza for the first few weeks of school this year before he had to leave to receive treatment.


He could return to teaching sometime this year, according to his wife, although exactly when hasn't been announced yet.

Trish Burich-McNeece, coordinator for IV Blood Services, said the blood drive had originally been scheduled as one for Border Patrol agents at their Highway 98 station near Meadows Avenue.

"But I talked to Steve Martion (Border Patrol agent in charge for Calexico) about opening it up to the public and he was more than happy to do that," she said.

Burich-McNeece said she decided to allow people to donate blood in Tessada's name after a number of people at a Calexico High School blood drive donated blood for the popular teacher.

She said donating blood is a great way for people who "feel helpless" when they hear about Tessada's condition.

"They ask ‘What can I do?'" she said.

Giving blood is "one way they can show they are thinking of him and it replaces blood he might be using," she said.

This afternoon the blood service's bloodmobile will be in Holtville at the downtown Civic Center until 5:30 p.m.

It will be parked at El Centro's Wells Fargo Bank branch on Main Street from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Burich-McNeece said anyone can donate blood in Tessada's name at any of the blood drives.

Those who plan to donate blood should be aware of new requirements that went into effect April 30.

You can't donate blood if you've spent up to three months or more in the United Kingdom from 1980-1996, been in a "malaria area" recently, been anywhere in Europe for more than five years since 1980 or spent more than six months in military bases in Northern Europe from 1980-1990 or Southern Europe from 1980-1996.

Burich-McNeece understands the importance of the new preventive measures but she's upset to lose donors when only 5 percent of the national populace donates as it is.

"We lost one donor already today who had lived on a base for three years," she said.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles