LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – On Saturday, April 16, 2022, the HAVOC (Having a Variety of Cars) society displayed a car show with a more significant cause; a blood drive to spread awareness about lymphoma.

Lymphoma is a cancer disease that can be deadly. It affects the lymph node system and bone marrow. It can impact other parts of the body as well. Treatment can be exhausting and expensive.

“The car community is pretty big, so I figured I could get enough people to come out and donate blood; go to a good cause,” said Jakarick Calais, President, HAVOC society. Calais says he wants to use the car community for a more significant cause. His brother Sebastian Noel said, “It’s a popular thing in the community nowadays for the younger crowd especially.”

The one person inspiring them to spread awareness about Lymphoma is their mother, 48-year-old Twana Callais. The family says she was diagnosed last month and gets chemo treatment and blood transfusion once or twice a week. Christi Carmouche, a nurse practitioner at St. Martin Hospital Community Health Clinic, said, “As we know, lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the lymph system and the blood.” “That’s like cancer that you don’t hear much of,” said Calais.

“It means a lot and especially for the community to be more aware so that everyone can be mindful of some of the common symptoms of lymphoma, including swelling of the lymph node and the neck, the underarm, some fatigue, fever,” said Carmouche.

Vitalant supported the replenishment blood drive. Donnelle Cormier, a paramedic with Acadian Ambulance, said, “It’s very important for her (Twana) to be able to have this replenishment drive so it will help her aid to where she’ll have what she needs moving forward for treatment and here on out.” “Just trying to save lives; it could be not our family; it could be anybody. It’s an important cause,” said Noel.

The president says the car club has about 15 members. Many members from the club as well as the community donated blood. “It’s really great for the community to come out; give blood, especially with the pandemic. There have been shortages with the blood supplies,” said Carmouche. “There almost be like they have a bank of everything that they’ll need throughout now and then treatments that they would have moving forward,” said Cormier.

The group says they would like to have more events like the blood drive and partner with other organizations to reach a larger audience.