'No reason to stop': Bath woman plans 2 blood drives in daughter's memory

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BATH — Inspiring people to do good things is one way that Amie Marzen channels grief from the death of her 4-year-old daughter last October to brain cancer.

Marzen has orchestrated several events in Madeline’s name. The latest are blood drives to be held next month in Westbrook and Bath.

Madeline received blood or platelet donations three times during her two-month battle with an inoperable and malignant brain tumor. Marzen pledged at the time to someday pay back those donations.

First she organized a blood drive in Bath in June for the American Red Cross. That event drew 67 people – just 16 shy of the largest memorial blood drive in Maine.

The Red Cross was “kind of blown away by the response, so they asked us to do another one,” Marzen said Aug. 22.

Thanks to a friend who offered to also hold a drive closer to Portland, this time there will be two. Marzen hopes that the September drives during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month will draw more than 100 people.

Each donation saves about three lives, she noted.

“We paid back Madeline’s donation, but there are a lot more still fighting, so there’s no reason to stop,” said Marzen, who has given blood three times in memory of her daughter. “We’ll just keep plowing ahead until maybe there’s no need anymore.”

Moved by the kindness she and her husband received during their daughter’s illness and right after her death has pushed Marzen to keep paying it forward.

“I wanted to give back, but it also is a way to channel the love that I have for Madeline that I can’t express on a daily level, in a physical way here on Earth anymore,” she said, her voice breaking. “… It’s a way to keep her memory going, but also a way for me to heal and grow.”

Alliance Realty and Chase Custom Homes & Finance will host a drive, with a Red Cross Mobile unit at 290 Bridgton Road in Westbrook from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4. Contact Molly Shaw of Alliance Realty at 892-2700 or mshaw@cchfi.com for more information.

The American Red Cross will host the second drive at the Bath Senior Center, 45 Floral St. in Bath, from noon-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. Marzen can be reached at 449-2896 or amie.marzen@gmail.com for more details.

Pre-registration is encouraged for both events at redcross.org. Search for “Madeline” to choose either drive, or pledge to donate in the girl’s name through the “Madeline’s Giving Life Drive” page on Facebook or by searching that title at sleevesup.org.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Amie Marzen of Bath, holding her son Benjamin in May, hopes to break a memorial blood drive record with two drives next month in memory of her daughter Madeline, who died last October from a brain tumor at the age of 4.

Blood drives will be held in Westbrook and Bath next month in memory of Madeline Marzen, a 4-year-old Bath child who died last October after a two-month battle with brain cancer.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.