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Local teacher continues to donate convalescent plasma to help during coronavirus pandemic

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TUCSON (KVOA) - A local teacher who recovered from the coronavirus is now on a mission to help in the fight against the virus.

Jane Locke is a fifth-grade teacher at the Academy of Tucson Elementary School.

The coronavirus pandemic has added challenges to teachers across the country and Locke is now teaching remotely for the first time in her nearly 40-year teaching career.

"I have learned more teaching remotely about teaching than I feel like I have in the last couple of years," said Locke.

However, before COVID-19 affected how she taught, she tested positive for the coronavirus back around Mother's Day.

"I had a lot of the symptoms," she said. "I lost my sense of taste, my sense of smell, I was lethargic and had no energy for three solid weeks."

Since she recovered from COVID-19, she has donated her convalescent plasma, which contains COVID-19 antibodies, three separate times.

Locke said that it is now her mission to continue to donate her plasma to help do her part in the fight against the coronavirus.

"Everybody should be donating right now," she said. "I think there is too much we still don't know about this disease and we have entirely too many Americans who have died. We need to find out and the only way we can do that is by studying the blood of people who have had it."

The American Red Cross Serving Southern Arizona's executive director Courtney Slanaker said that Locke is one of thousands of people who have fully recovered that have donated their convalescent plasma which help support hospital partners.

"When you have donors like Jane that come in regularly, it has been really helping us support the need for convalescent plasma across the country," Slanaker said.

The American Red Cross is currently in critical need for convalescent plasma.

To see if you are eligible to donate and would like to register to donate, click here.

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Priscilla Casper

Priscilla Casper is an anchor and multi-skilled journalist for News 4 Tucson. She anchors weekdays at noon and 5 p.m.

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