UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON WARMS UP TO NEW YEAR OF CAMPUS BLOOD DRIVES

Donors check-in at U.D. RecPlex blood drive.

DAYTON, Ohio – It may have seemed like mid-summer on a warm Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the University of Dayton campus, but students were almost too busy to notice as they went about the business of settling in to the fall semester.  Something that did draw attention was the bright red “Blood Drive Today” sign at the RecPlex.

U.D. kicked off the new year of hosting monthly Community Blood Center blood drives Wednesday. The first blood drive of fall totaled 87 donors, including 28 first-time donors and 58 units donated.

“I saw the sign walking by,” said first-time donor Aiden Curran, a U.D. graduate and now staff member. “I tried to donate when I was in school but couldn’t because I had been to South Korea. So, I thought this is the time to do it.”

Aiden is the son of Dan Curran, who retired in 2016 after serving as president of U.D. for 14 years.  He underwent a life-saving liver transplant a year ago and Aiden said his dad is doing well.

Multiple student organizations, including service fraternities and sororities, will serve as volunteer sponsors of the eight blood drives on campus this academic year.  The Dental Interest Group was one of Wednesday’s sponsors. Pre-dental students Kayleigh Koski, Brennan Mooney, Josh Besl, Will Edwards, and Alex Kurdziel helped out by serving juice and cookies to donors.

“My friend’s sorority is one of the sponsors,” said first-time donor Ava Stokes, a sophomore from Cincinnati. “They promoted it and I said I would do it.”

U.D. students are quick to respond when asked to support Community Blood Center’s eight campus blood drives. U.D.’s total for the 2018-2019 academic year was 596 donors, 206 first-time donors, and 505 donations.

Donor Audrey Bennett, a senior from Lancaster, Ohio, summed up the spirit of giving at U.D. as she broke into a smile while donating.  Audrey is a communications major with a minor in religious studies who was drawn to U.D. because of her faith.

“I want to work with youth ministry,” said Audrey. “I love the innocence of kids. They’re so open. They’re goofballs! But they’re so inherently good, silly and full of life. I’m definitely good, silly and full of life also!”

U.D.’s next fall blood drive will be Oct. 23 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at the RecPlex.

Audrey Bennett donating.
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‘THANK YOU FOR SAYING YES’ CBC IRON MAN WENDELL CLARK FIRST TO REACH 700TH DONATION

CBC staff congratulates top donor Wendell Clark on his 700th lifetime donation.

DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center honored Eaton’s Wendell Clark Sept. 9 at the Dayton Donor Center as he became CBC’s first donor to reach the milestone of 700 lifetime blood donations.

“Thank you for saying ‘yes” all those years ago,” said CBC Collection Service Director Kay Ollech. “I remember 600 seemed like a lot,” said Wendell, “and 500 and 400 before that! I always would say, it’s just another donation and I would start thinking about the next goal.”

Wendell donates platelets and plasma twice a month. Platelets and plasma are vitally important for the treatment of cancer patients, as well as trauma, transplant, and burn patients.

Collections Services Director Kay Ollech said Wendell was part of a group of donors asked to donate plasma for an infant whose father was stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the mid 1980’s. Wendell had 72 lifetime whole blood donations at the time but had had never donated platelets or plasma.

“That’s how he got started,” said Kay. “It was for a baby with a clotting disorder. They gave her a massive amount of plasma to stop her bleeding. We had gathered together A, B and AB donors. It was a limited donor pool, and it was for lifelong support.” Wendell was the longest contributing donor for the infant.

Wendell had been CBC’s top active donor since 2010. He made his milestone 600th lifetime donation on Oct. 24, 2013 and a few weeks later became CBC’s “Top Donor of All Time” with his 602nd lifetime donation on Nov. 14, 2013.

He was forced to stop donating in 2014 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. “The prostate test came back positive, and the first thing that went through my mind was, I can’t donate,” he said. 

He underwent successful surgery and was deferred from donating for two years.  Exactly two years later, he was back donating. Wendell was inducted into the Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame in 2017. 

“I feel like one way I can help other people is to donate my blood products to them,” said Wendell. “Other than having the cancer I’ve been fairly healthy. So, I can help out people who are not as fortunate.”

Wendell retired after more than 31 years with Neaton Auto Products Manufacturing in Eaton, where he continues to work part-time. Wendell and his wife Vivian have three children and seven grandchildren.

‘LITTLE SCHOOL WITH BIG HEART’ SETON CATHOLIC WINS BIG AGAIN

CBC’s Melinda Frech presents High School Leadership Grants to Seton Catholic High School Principal John Markward.

DAYTON, Ohio – Seton Catholic High School in Richmond has added to its legacy as a small school with a big heart.  Seton received two High School Leadership Grants for blood drive excellence in 2018-2019 to become the most honored high school in Community Blood Center’s 15-county service area.

CBC’s Melinda Frech presented the two awards and a check for $2,000 to SCHS Principal John Markward on Sept. 6 during the first blood drive of the new school year.  Seton won the $1,000 grant for “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” supporting blood drives in the 2018-2019 academic year. It marked the fourth consecutive year Seton has won the category.  Seton also won the $1,000 grant for “Most Improved” blood drive school.

Seton has now won seven grants over the seven-year history of the High School Leadership Grant program, making it the all-time leader in grant awards.

CBC traditionally kicks off the new year of high school blood drives by awarding High School Leadership Grants in five categories to the top schools from the previous year. In 2018-2019, 119 high schools in CBC’s 15-county region hosted 221 blood drives, totaling 13,418 donors.

“Our students are really into it, and our Parish as well,” said Principal Markward, who serves as blood drive coordinator and advisor to Student Council, the student sponsor group for the blood drives. He noted that Seton graduated 23 seniors last year, and most received the CBC Red Cord for registering to donate at least three times during their high school years.

“The kids set it up, and before they walk out of here, they sign up for the next blood drive, Markward said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about these kids.”

Seton Catholic won the “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” with 207 percent of eligible students participating in the school’s blood drives. Seton added a fourth blood drive in 2018-2019 and won the grant for “Most Improved” blood drive with a 133-percent increase in participation.

“The way I see it, why wouldn’t we donate?” said junior Xen Cartwright after making his third lifetime donation at the Sept. 6 blood drive. “It’s not detrimental to yourself, and at the same time you’re saving people. I like that and a lot of people in the school have that mind set. It’s an opportunity to make a difference and save a life out there.”

Seton’s Sept. 6 blood drive is the first of four blood drives scheduled for the 2019-2020 school year. Friday’s blood drive totaled 51 donors, including 39 donations and eight first-time donors.

 “All my friends do it,” said first-time donor Andrew Himes.  “It’s something I like to do,” said senior William Brenneke who made his fourth lifetime donation. “Whenever one comes up, I say ‘sure!’”

2018-2019 GRANT WINNERS BY CATEGORY:

  • Most Donors: Miami Valley Career Technology Center – In 2018-2019 MVCTC’s fall and spring blood drives totaled 407 donors, including 146 first-time donors and 317 donations.
  • Highest Percentage of Enrollment: Seton Catholic High School – Seton Catholic has won this category four consecutive years with the strength of support increasing every year. In 2018-2019 participation in Seton’s four blood drives was 207 percent of eligible enrollment. Seton had 195 percent participation in 2017-2018, 175 percent in 2016-2017, and 152 percent in 2015-2016.
  • Second Highest Percentage of Enrollment: Houston High School – Houston High School was second to Seton Catholic High School with 101 percent of its eligible students participating in the school’s two blood drives.
  • Most Improved: Seton Catholic High School – Seton added a fourth blood drive in 2018-2019 and won the grant for “Most Improved” blood drive school with a 133-percent increase in participation. It’s the second time Seton has won the “Most Improved” grant. Seton’s four blood drives totaled 242 donors, including 30 first-time donors.

BEAVERCREEK DONORS THANK FIRST RESPONDERS, VOTE POLICE IN BATTLE OF BADGES BLOOD DRIVE

BTFD Auxiliary coordinator Pat Cochran & Peace Lutheran Church blood drive coordinator Dan Jessup with BPD Community Engagement Officer Mark Brown.

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio – Beavercreek Police put the edge back into their friendly rivalry with the Beavercreek Township Firefighters by winning the sixth annual “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive” Sept. 9 at Peace Lutheran Church.  Donors voted for police by a 54-46 margin.

It gave police their second win in the rivalry and their first since 2016. It was also the second best collection day. The blood drive totaled 106 donors, including 92 donations and 13 first-time donors for 108 percent of the collection goal.  The six-year total is now 645 donors.

“I’ve got to be happy with that number,” said Beavercreek Community Engagement Officer Mark Brown after all the donor votes were tallied. “It’s fine,” said Pat Cochran who organizes the Battle of the Badges with BTFD Auxiliary volunteers and Peace Lutheran Church blood drive coordinator Dan Jessup. “We got a lot of blood today. It was fun!”

After four victories in the challenge, the firefighters had reason to be confident and BTFD Chief David VandenBos wasn’t letting up. “No, total domination!” he said after donating. “I like those guys well enough, but I don’t want them to win, and I would expect nothing else from them!”

BTFD Chief Dave VandenBos & BPD Community Engagement Officer Mark Brown.

The blood drive was an opportunity for donors to show their appreciation for all first responders. The Memorial Day tornadoes impacted Beavercreek, and many felt a strong sense of gratitude to all police officers after the Oregon District shootings. “It’s been all public safety this year with the events,” said Officer Brown. “The shooting really resonated.”

Peace Lutheran blood drive coordinator Dan Jessup agreed. “We have 9/11 remembrance this week and I think it’s because of Dayton Strong,” he said.

 “This is my favorite blood donation,” said donor Carol Cutright. “I come every year. I work at the Greene County Prosecutors office, and work with law enforcement people. But the firemen do a great job too!”

Karen Hawk was again at the blood drive to greet donors with her therapy dog April.  April is gentle Golden Retriever who often visits patients at Soin Medical Center and Dayton Children’s Hospital.

“I’m totally voting for the police officers because they’re watching my kids right now,” said Beavercreek donor Tiffany Scott, an ICU nurse at Grandview Medical Center.  Officer Brown gave Tiffany’s three boys a ride in BPD’s new Polaris off-road vehicle. The department purchased the four-wheeler in time to help access Beavercreek neighborhoods heavily damaged by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

 “Off they all went in the ATV,” said Tiffany. “They’re amazing.”

John Teevan is 89 years old, lives near Peace Lutheran, and is a regular donor at the church blood drives. He made his 198th lifetime donation at the Battle of the Badges, just days after losing his wife Alice.  They were married 61 years.

“She was attractive, and her personality was even better,” said John. “Tomorrow’s the funeral. She donated 18 gallons of blood! I’m going to pass through this world, and I’m going to do a little bit of good while I pass through.”

As for his vote, John pointed to his Smokey the Bear t-shirt and said, “I got my Smokey shirt on so I’m voting for the Smokey firefighters!”

John Teevan donating.

THE LEGACY IN MIKE GALE’S MILESTONE 500TH LIFETIME DONATION

CBC staff celebrates Mike Gale on his 500th lifetime donation.

DAYTON, Ohio – Butler Township donor Mike Gale thought about his wife Carolyn when he made his milestone 500th lifetime blood donation Sept. 5 at the Dayton Community Blood Center. Mike is only the eighth CBC donor to become a member of the “500 Club” and he did it because of Carolyn.

Mike and Carolyn first met at Michigan State University. They lost touch when he went into the U.S. Army in 1969 and survived a one-year tour in Vietnam.

“The first time I donated was in the Army,” said Mike. “It was during the Vietnam War, when they would basically march your whole company down to donate and said, ‘OK guys, do your part.’”

When he came home, Mike and Carolyn met again, this time in graduate school at the University of Michigan. “I was sitting in the dean’s office of the Math Department,” he said. “Carolyn was in the office to drop something off and I said, ‘I know her!’ I chased her down the hall and re-introduced myself, and it stuck.”

They stuck together, moving to the Miami Valley, raising a son and daughter, and enjoying six grandchildren. Mike had a 29 year-career as a software engineer with Sheffield Measurements. He retired in 2000, soon after losing Carolyn to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“I started donating platelets when my wife was being treated for cancer,” he said. “She was getting platelets regularly. She passed away in September of ’98.”

Mike has stuck to his routine of donating platelets on a full schedule of 24 times per year. He’s easy to recognize at CBC in his silver beard and favorite blue shirt and black fleece vest for just the right layers of warmth during his donations. He’s fine with the black and yellow colors of the “Big 6” platelet and plasma t-shirts, partly because of his ties to Michigan. “Just so it’s not Ohio State colors!” he said.

“Just another blood donation,” is how he described his milestone and added, “It is kind of nice to hit that number, but it won’t stop me from donating!”

When asked if Carolyn might be proud of his accomplishment, he smiled, paused, and gave a tribute to her legacy. “Both of my kids are donors,” he said.

READY TO WALK AT LIGHT THE NIGHT FOR BLOOD CANCER SURVIVOR CHLOE SPRADLIN

Honored Hero Chloe Spradlin with parents Chris & Christy Spradlin.

DAYTON, Ohio – All six-year old Chloe Spradlin wanted was to stay with her family, in her home, safe in her own bed.  But the blood cancer attacking her body would not allow it.

“I did not want to take her back to the hospital,” said Chloe’s dad Chris Spradlin. “We knew we had to. Carrying her out to the car in my arms was the worst thing ever.”

In 2016 Chloe was diagnosed with stage four Burkitt’s leukemia, an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Between multiple courses of chemotherapy, she was supposed to get a few precious days at home. But another infection meant rushing back to the hospital.

Today Chloe is an Honored Hero of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 2019 Dayton Light The Night Walk. She is free of cancer and will jubilantly lead the walk Sept. 26 at Kettering’s Fraze Pavilion. The mile-long victory lap through the autumn evening will be brief compared to the long journey of a cancer survivor.

Chloe, her parents Chris and Christy and younger brother Caden moved to Troy in the summer of 2016 when Chris was named provost of Edison State Community College. By Thanksgiving she was in a fight for her life.

“She was very tired, sleepy, pale, didn’t have much energy,” said Chris. “As much as parents worry for the worst, I don’t think we ever thought it was something terrible. She had a fever on Thanksgiving. They did a blood test. They told us to go to Dayton Children’s Hospital.”

“It was all over her body, stage four,” said Chris. “Burkitt’s is one of the fastest growing cancers. “Our first meal in the hospital was Thanksgiving dinner. She started chemotherapy that Sunday. She spent 17 straight days in the hospital.”

Chris and Christy remember “a host of things wrong with Chloe’s body,” including multiple infections, anemia, and sores. She wouldn’t eat or drink.

“On the night of Dec. 14, 2016 Chloe suffered a seizure and stopped breathing,” said Chris. They were moved to a room across the hall where “We repeatedly prayed for God to save our child’s life.” She spent the next five days in ICU.

Over the next five months Chloe underwent an intensive course of chemotherapy. “She was in the hospital almost all the time,” said Chris. “We would then bring her home and do everything we could to protect her from infection but with essentially zero white blood cells in her system she would inevitably get sick and end up back in the hospital.”

Two years later, Chloe says she remembers “how tough it was.” The scariest part was the lumbar punctures for intrathecal chemotherapy to the spinal cord. “She had 10 of those in five months,” said Chris.

A comfort during those hard times was her “therapy pig” named “Oliver.” When asked who helped her, she points to her mom. A great source of encouragement was another little girl, just like her.

“I had a friend in the hospital named Desi and she had bone cancer,” said Chloe. “We liked to come over to each other’s rooms, play games and just do stuff.”

“Feb. 21, 2017 – I remember that date,” said Chris. “It was the first time we got a blood test that showed no cancer.” She finished treatment April 1, 2017 and remains cancer free.

“The doctors, nurses and staff at Dayton Children’s Hospital were simply amazing. They not only save our daughter’s life, they saved our whole family… They will always be special to us.”

“We still shudder at the memory of those dark, dark days of 2016,” said Chris, when it was difficult to imagine now eight-year old Chloe as an ambassador of hope for Light The Night and all blood cancer patients.

“Chloe being an Honored Hero has been a blessing, said Chloe’s mom Christy Spradlin. “At times it’s hard to relive the story.  But with all the great events she’s been able to experience life after cancer.”

Chloe has embraced her role, walking the runway in an LLS fashion show and throwing out the first pitch at the Aug. 22 Dayton Dragons game. Here’s how she described her job as Honored Hero:

“When people look at me, they think, ‘Wow. This girl has gone through a lot. I think I’m going to raise some money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.’”

The Dayton Light The Night Walk is Thursday, Sept. 26 at the Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering with events beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the walk at 7:15 p.m. Find our more at https://www.lightthenight.org/events/dayton or email supportservices@lls.org.

CBC HONORS WORKERS DURING SEPT. 1-7 BLOOD COLLECTORS WEEK

CBC’s Krista Johnson with donor Janis Winner.

DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center in Dayton will take the opportunity of Sept. 1-7 Blood Collectors Week to recognize the day-to-day dedication of the phlebotomy staff and to honor especially their tireless efforts when thousands gave blood after the Memorial Day 2019 tornado outbreak and the Aug. 4 Oregon District mass shooting.

“We believe giving should be positive for each and every donor,” said CBC Collection Services Director Kay Ollech as she endorsed the theme of Blood Collectors Week. “Phlebotomists, apheresis operators, and all those who support the blood collection process are part of a vital community. Our skill and dedication help to ensure a positive experience for donors and secure a safe and adequate supply of blood for patients in our neighborhoods and across our nation.”

The theme for Blood Collectors Week 2019 is “Blood Collectors Make Giving Grow in Our Community.” The Dayton community and CBC staff faced unique challenges in the spring and summer of 2019.

Unusually high blood usage during the Memorial Day holiday weekend was followed by the disruption of the devasting outbreak of tornadoes Memorial Day evening.

The strong support by donors and the response by CBC blood collectors helped stabilize the blood supply.  In the five days after Memorial Day CBC totaled 1,734 donors, including 1,435 donations and 270 first-time donors.

The hospital blood supply provided by CBC withstood the test of the Oregon District mass shooting that left nine dead and 27 injured. The work of restoring the blood supply began immediately and included the challenge of receiving hundreds of donors who wanted to give blood in support of the victims.

On Monday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 10 1,708 people registered to donate whole blood, platelets and plasma at the Dayton CBC and CBC mobile blood drives, including 171 first-time donors.  The dedication of donors and CBC staff was symbolized best by the “Dayton Strong Blood Drive” movement.