“She was everything”: North Braddock Borough, others to donate blood in honor of teen with leukemia

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. — Nicole Glaze beams as she talks about her granddaughter, 13-year-old Nichole Hogan.

“I called her my grand-diva. My glam-diva. She liked dressing up, getting her hair done,” said Glaze. “I have to smile because I would say she was everything.”

This North Braddock family first experienced tragedy last summer.

Nichole’s mother, Jerrica Glaze, told Channel 11 a road trip took a tragic turn after a car accident claimed the life of her 5-year-old stepchild and left Nichole in critical condition. Following the accident, Nichole was left unable to walk. While she recovered, she stayed with her grandmother.

“When the day came she could put weight in her legs, she was beaming, excited,” said Glaze.

But that miraculous recovery was short-lived.

“She had a headache, and her dad took her to the hospital,” Glaze told Channel 11.

Around Christmas, Nichole went to the hospital for a headache. A few tests later would reveal the seemingly healthy girl had leukemia.

A week after the diagnosis, Nichole passed away.

“There are no words,” said Glaze.

Now, this family is turning their pain into purpose with the help of North Braddock Borough through a blood drive in Nichole’s honor.

“I thought, what a nice way to honor a young person who lost their life too soon to leukemia and how important blood is for people who have that disease,” said President of North Braddock Borough Council, Lisa Franklin-Robinson.

According to the Red Cross, although the country is just coming off a blood shortage crisis, another one could be around the corner.

“Right now, with COVID restrictions lifting and donors taking much-needed vacations, we are seeing a drop in donor turnout,” said Tina Czaikowski.

The call to action, is also being extended to other communities.

“Help build the supply up because blood means life,” said Franklin-Robinson.

“I’m challenging every borough close to here to have a blood drive, help with this effort.”

“To give someone else life in her name, I think the most beautiful thing ever,” said Glaze.

The blood drive will take place on Wednesday, June 15, at the Woodland Hills School District Administrative Building at 531 Jones Avenue, North Braddock, PA 15104. The drive will take place from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

For more information on how to donate blood, please visit the Red Cross online.