Blood drive set to honor late Woodbridge quarterback Haynes

GREENWOOD — The inaugural 4Troy Foundation Blood Drive, to honor the life of the late Troy Haynes, is scheduled for Saturday through a partnership with the Blood Bank of Delmarva.

The blood drive is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the VFW, 301 Mill St., Greenwood. Interested participants can sign up online at https://donate.bbd.org/donor/schedules/sponsor_code (use sponsorship code 4TF) or by calling 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.

Woodbridge High School principal Jed Bell stands with Troy Hanes during a Philadelphia Eagles football game. (Submitted photo)

The 4Troy Foundation was created this year to uphold the legacy of Troy by providing youth mentorships, scholarships and guidance to those navigating the road of renal medullary carcinoma cancer.

Troy died in September after being diagnosed with RMC cancer a few months earlier in May. He was a four-year starting quarterback for Woodbridge High School and led the Blue Raiders to two state championships while maintaining a 3.4 grade-point average.

Blood drive coordinator Christina Haynes (Troy’s mother) and Blood Bank of Delmarva account manager Ralph Groves hope to fill 76 appointments at this Halloween blood drive. The hope is to attract several Woodbridge High alumni and students to this drive.

The Blood Bank of Delmarva must maintain a seven-day inventory to supply 19 Delmarva hospitals, and inventory levels for key blood types are hovering around two to three days (A positive, B positive and O positive).

It takes 350 donors per day to help BBD keep all 19 hospitals in Delmarva stocked with the blood products they need to help patients.

The entire state rallied around the Woodbridge community last year after Troy’s diagnosis. The rallying cry became “Fight Like 4,” after Troy’s football uniform number and “Fight Like 4” shirts could be found at nearly every athletic event in Delaware.

That rallying cry even made its way up to Philadelphia, where the Eagles honored him prior to a preseason NFL game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 8, 2019.

Troy, along with his family members and teammates, had the chance to meet some of the Eagles players and be on the sidelines during pregame warmups. He was even given his own No. 4 Eagles jersey with “Haynes” stitched across the back.

The “Fight Like 4” mantra was best displayed by Troy himself when he walked across the football field to receive his diploma at his graduation from Woodbridge High School despite being in the thick of his bout with the disease.

The original plan was for him to be pushed in a wheelchair, but Troy changed his mind and sent Woodbridge football coach Jed Bell a text saying he’d like to walk on his own.

He received a standing ovation from his fellow graduating seniors and everyone in attendance.

“His big thing throughout all this was he wanted to prove the doubters wrong and try to serve as an inspiration for people,” said Mr. Bell. “I definitely think he did that and then some. The graduation was really important to him and special for him, as it would be for any high school senior.”

At his celebration of life last year, Troy was not only remembered as the football, basketball and baseball star he was, but also as the humble, determined leader as everyone knew him as.

“If I had a son, I would want him to be like Troy,” Mr. Bell said that day. “If you think of the characteristics that you would want in a perfect human being, that’s Troy in a nutshell.”

“He’s brought a whole community together, and I would take it even further and say the whole state,” Mr, Bell continued.

“It seems like everyone and their brother has reached out and offered some type of condolences, so it’s a reminder of who Troy was and how special he is. I think at the end of the day that’s what we’re going to remember him by.”