BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Shana Melius is the co-founder of Preserve Our Legacy, a foundation with a powerful mission.
"It's about saving a life. There are thousands of individuals who are in need of a bone marrow transplant. Our organization started because a friend's son, three-year-old son, needed a bone marrow transplant and he passed away," Melius explained.
Melius said at the time she and others around her weren't as informed about the importance of registering as a bone marrow donor.
That painful situation lead to the creation of this organization to prevent anyone else from having to experience that same pain.
"So the basis of Preserve Our Legacy is to educate the community about peripheral blood, stem cells, bone marrow and umbilical cord blood donation because they are saving lives for individuals that are in need," said Melius.
The mission of this event was so important, that it snagged the attention of city leaders from all over the Coast.
"A number of diseases can be helped and cured through bone marrow transplants, through platelets, etc. And unfortunately, specifically in the African American community, there's just not enough information about donors who really need to donate," said Biloxi Councilman, Bill Stallworth.
"We can help one life and it's so important that we do that. I have a friend right now that I'm truly praying for, the Collins family. That's looking for this same type of support right now," said Gulfport Councilwoman Ella Holmes Hines.
Hattiesburg's mayor agreed.
"This is a good thing to do. We want to make sure people understand this is what we ought to be doing. Extending a life helping other people extend their lives," said Johnny Dupree, Mayor of Hattiesburg.
This group said their mission is to spread a message of life and hope throughout the country and they don't plan on stopping anytime soon.