CLAREMORE, Okla. — 2 News talked to Commander Murry Estabrook earlier in 2021.
He started teaching JROTC at Claremore High School in 2003. In 2004, Estabrook organized the school's first blood drive in partnership with the Oklahoma Blood Institute.
He later learned firsthand the importance of blood donations.
“I’ve been blessed with this sweet little girl here because of blood donors,” Estabrook said.
That little girl is his 3-year-old granddaughter Cali. She almost died shortly after birth.
"Her blood system totally crashed, and she had to have emergency surgery,” Estabrook said.
His granddaughter needed two units of blood to survive. In January, Estabrook received some life-changing news.
"They told me I had stage four pancreatic cancer and it was also in my lymph nodes," he said.
Estabrook said at the time he would beat the cancer. In his final months, he continued to be a voice for people in need of blood donations, “Anybody that’s fighting an illness is gonna need blood," he said. "Please come out and give [blood]."
Commander Estabrook died Friday, July 9. In honor of his legacy and dedication to others, the Claremore community held a parade the following day.
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