A mom’s mission in memory of her son

The Bridgton News | Dawn De Busk
ZEENA AND SKIP WATKINS, Corey Gilding’s mother and stepfather step up to the microphone.

CASCO — Fifty pints of blood.

Fifty pints of blood was what Corey Gilding needed during his fight against a liver disease, a condition with which he had been born.

Fifty pints was the goal during a blood drive that was part of the celebration of life for Gilding. Subsequently, the American Red Cross mobile unit drove away with more than fifty units of blood, according to Gilding’s mother Zeena Watkins.

The blood drive was blended into a lavish and uplifting celebration of life that was held during a sunny Saturday in September at the Watkins Farm acreage. The gathering was held two days after what would have been Gilding’s 37th birthday. He had died on Feb. 4, 2015, three months after being put on the waiting list for a donor liver.

On Sept. 12, close friends rolled up their sleeves and offered a vein to the workers with the American Red Cross. One girl kept saying it was her first time giving blood, and she was “doing it for Corey.” Continue reading

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