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      Alumni groups collect blood for 24-year-old Ga. woman

      COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Aimee Copeland's dad Andy visited his alma mater Monday for a blood drive in his daughter's name, who is hospitalized with a rare flesh eating infection.

      The alumni groups of two major universities are teaming up in an effort to challenge graduates and fans of the schools to give blood for a Georgia woman battling a flesh-eating disease.

      The University of South Carolina's My Carolina Alumni Association says it's 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.

      University of South Carolina officials say Copeland is the daughter of USC alumnus Andy Copeland. She is a graduate student at the University of West Georgia.

      â??It takes no courage to give blood, it only takes time,â?? Andy Copeland said. â??When you think it's too much trouble to give blood, think about that 24-year old gal lying in that hospital bed without a leg, foot and two hands. Think about her stout bravery in the face of fire. Think about the wounded veterans who come home every day missing limbs. Think about the day when you might face your own family tragedy. Don't be the person who says, â??I wish I had given blood;â?? be the person who says, â??I'm so glad I gave.â??â??

      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 encourage alumni to donate at any blood donation center.

      According to the My Carolina Alumni Association, the blood drive in Columbia will take place 11 a.m. â?? 7 p.m. Monday, June 11, in what was formerly the Sigma Phi Epsilon House at 509 Lincoln Street in the Greek Village. T he first 100 donors to the Columbia campus donation site will receive a gift courtesy of My Carolina and The State newspaper. For Columbia area residents unable to get to the site on campus, the Red Cross Columbia Donor Center is open 11 a.m. â?? 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 7 a.m. â?? 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday, at 2751 Bull Street.

      UGA will hold its blood drive at Memorial Hall on campus from 11 a.m. â?? 5 p.m. and at Reed Hall from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. on June 13.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)