WEST LIBERTY, Ohio – Short-term memory is still playing tricks on Scott Boyd. When he rolled his wheelchair into the Green Hills Community Wednesday, Oct. 26 for the “Iron Man Part II Blood Drive” in his honor he knew he had spent time there during his long recovery from a near-fatal farm accident.  He just couldn’t say when.

Scott was critically injured on Aug. 12 when he was caught in the blades of his bush hog while mowing a pasture. He suffered a “shark bite” wound to his side that shattered his hip and damaged his ribs and internal organs.  He managed to send a scrambled text message to his wife Cindee, who by chance had come home from work at lunch time.

His heart stopped twice while waiting for CareFlight and twice again in flight to Miami Valley Hospital.  He underwent multiple surgeries over the next 39 hours and received 108 units of blood, plasma and platelets. Against the odds, and with Cindee constantly at his side, he survived.

“They say I died four times,” said Scott. “If she hadn’t had made it back and done all she did, it would have been too late.”

The first “Iron Man” replacement blood drive for Scott at Green Hills Community on Aug. 31 was expanded to accommodate more donors. It was one of many ways the West Liberty community would reach out with overwhelming support for Scott and his family.

Scott returned home on Oct. 4 after nearly two months of hospital care.  Appointments were again added for Wednesday’s “Iron Man Part II” blood drive and again it was a full house.  The result was 64 donors, 12 first-time donors, and 56 donations for 112 percent of the collection goal.

Scott recognized every smiling face as he moved around the blood drive, thanking neighbors and old friends who came to donate.  But details of those conversations would soon slip away.  Severe blood loss takes a toll on the brain.  He hopes that in time he will walk again, and remember more.

He still isn’t sure why he jumped off his bush hog while mowing that day. Perhaps he cleared away a branch. But his memory of what happened next is crystal clear.

“I knew I was in trouble,” he said.  “When it rolled over on me I figured I was done.”  He began a fight for his life.

“I took hold of that blade,” he recalled.  “It wouldn’t turn – I think I stalled the motor out. It had cut me up pretty good at that point.  I thought I was going to die.  I was able to text my wife.  She ran out to the field and I was behind the mower.”

Over the next 22 days Scott underwent 12 surgeries. He has at least two more surgeries ahead to replace his shattered hip. He forgets the detail that he must wait up to six months between hip surgeries. He asks Cindee again about the schedule, and each time she answers he frowns with the same disappointment, feeling it again for the first time.

An amazing part of Scott’s story is that the mower accident was not the first time he cheated death. When he was 13 he was one of three boys who survived a car accident on the way home from football practice that left three others dead.

“My best friends and a father died in a car accident,” he said. “I’ve had that on my shoulders all these years.”  He removed his hat to reveal the scars like a crown of thorns around his forehead. “I broke both my arms and wrists and the top of my head was cut off, – I had stiches all around.”

“I’ve cheated death twice,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to go for a third time.”

Friends like Roni Lile, whose brother died in the crash, donated at both blood drives for Scott. Cindee’s step-father Ed Fout donated at both blood drives as well. “I figured he would be here,” said Ed. “He’s getting around good for what he’s been through. He’s got that real grit to go.”

Scott is lifting weights to build strength. He wants badly to regain his independence. “I want to drive again,” he says with a smile. “I’ve got a couple of muscle cars.  I keep trying to squeeze in that I can, but I’m not convincing anybody. I said I’ve got my right foot for the gas and brake.”

Scott chatted with Joe Williams, who made a special effort to donate Wednesday. “I came for Scott,” he said. “The last one filled up right away.”

Scott knows it’s a miracle that he is alive.  “I thought for sure I was dead when I was under that mower,” he said. “I know what a bush hog blade can do, I’ve cut through small trees. I knew whatever it did wouldn’t be good.”

He knows also that blood donations helped him survive, and he marvels at how donors continue to support him. “I appreciate the people giving,” he said. “I didn’t know how important giving blood was. I do now.”




MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – Troy is showing some early muscle in the 19th annual US Bank/Community Blood Center Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive.  Both Troy and Piqua High Schools kicked off the Challenge with dueling blood drive on Tuesday, Oct. 25 and the Trojans took the lead by six “votes.”

To further intensify the 2016 competition both US Bank community blood drives are on the same day, Thursday, Oct. 27 with the same hours, 12 noon to 6 p.m.

US Bank will present a $1,000 prize to the community whose high school and community blood drives combine for the highest number of donor registrations. Troy registered 118 donors Tuesday compared to Piqua’s 112 to take the early lead.  Troy also topped Piqua in first-time donors 55 to 53 and in donations 93-87.

“A lot of people are talking about,” said Troy junior Savannah Nelson as she made her first lifetime donation with a vote for Troy. “I couldn’t last year because I wasn’t old enough to donate, so of course this year I wanted to get into it.”

Troy’s Angie Wiley, blood drive coordinator and advisor for the student sponsor ASTRA club, said having all the Challenge blood drive during rival week has boosted interest. “I like the new layout, it’s really promoting a lot of community spirit,” she said. “It draws the community together and the spirit of the school blood drives in the same week.”

Though Piqua goes into Thursday’s community blood drive six votes behind, there is no reason to panic. “We should be good,” said April Watson, Piqua blood drive coordinator and advisor for the student sponsor Interact Club. “We don’t know how Troy will do, but we’ve done all we can. Hopefully the community will do well.”

“My family gives blood and I wanted to,” said Piqua junior Makenzie Ellerman, a first-time donor. “I love beating Troy – in everything!”

Troy senior Alexander Randazzo made his fifth lifetime donation with his vote for the Trojans, but said it’s not just about school spirit. “I understand the rivalry, but it’s more about giving back to the community,” said Alexander. “That’s the most important thing from it. I do appreciate that both schools are doing it.”

Piqua leads Troy in the CBC/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive series 13-4-1, but Troy’s win last year was its third in the last four Challenges.

The 2016 winner will be announced and the $1,000 award check presented Friday, Oct. 28 before kick-off at the Troy-Piqua football game.




WEST CHESTER, Ohio – The beat goes on for blood drive excellence at Butler Tech.  In just its first year the new Bioscience Center earned a $1,000 High School Leadership Grant from Community Blood Center and on Monday, Oct. 24 students celebrated the award on the anniversary of the center’s first blood drive.

The Bioscience Center earned the leadership grant for “Second Highest Percentage of Blood Drive Participation.” Most of the Bioscience Center’s 275 students are pursuing careers in health.  They supported the center’s three blood drives in the 2015-2016 academic year with 114 percent of enrollment registering to donate.

Bioscience Center participation was the second highest among the 118 high schools that hosted 226 blood drives last year in CBC’s 15-county region of eastern Indiana and western Ohio.

Blood drive Coordinator Laura Eby gathered all the volunteers on the blood drive committee for the award presentation and gave credit to the organizing skills of committee president Hannah Klaassen.

“There’s a huge interest in the health field,” said Hannah. “They want to be doctors and nurses when they come over here. They know how they can help save lives and they want to do it. They want to make a difference.  They want to get that phone call that says your donation saved lives!  That’s what they care about, they’re really passionate.”

It marks the fifth grant CBC has awarded to Butler Tech. The D. Russel Lee Career Technology Center is CBC’s most active high school blood drive sponsor with six blood drives per year.  It has dominated the “Most Donors” grant, winning it three consecutive years.

Wayne High School ended Butler Tech’s streak by claiming the “Most Donors” grant for 2015-2016, but the Bioscience Center continued Butler Tech’s winning tradition.  Monday’s blood drive was the first of three scheduled this year, and it represented a solid start with 103 donors, 54 first-time donors and 77 donations for 100 percent of the recruitment goal.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Bioscience blood drive is the sky high view from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the Donor Room.  Students gazed at miles of blue sky and West Chester’s fall color as they donated.


Senior Health Technology student Elizabeth Craft made her fourth lifetime donation Monday. “I wanted to give people my blood who need it,” she said. “If I can save a life, it’s amazing.”

Organization was flawless at the blood drive as students followed colorful signs from check-in, to registration, to screening along the open corridors overlooking the lobby.

Senior blood drive volunteers Keirsten Mays and Luke Stickler both made their milestone fifth lifetime donation Monday.  “I’m on the Care Team,” said Keirsten. “I like taking care of people and I want to go into nursing.”

“I’m on the Cookie Team,” said Luke. “We watch everyone after they donate. I wanted to be the face saying ‘How are you doing?’ making sure everything is OK.”


CBC annually awards five High School Leadership grants. Recipients for 2015-2016 also Seton Catholic High School for “Highest Percentage of Enrollment,” Fairmont High School for “Red Cord Excellence,” and the Warren County Career Center for “Most Improved.”

Butler Tech also sponsors blood drives at its School of the Arts and Natural Science Center. The next Bioscience Center blood drive will be Jan. 31, 2017.



Maya Wills was a dedicated donor and advocate for blood donations during her years at Houston High School.  This fall finds Maya away from her Sidney home, now a freshman at Bowling Green State University. But she’s still inspiring area high school donors with her award-winning message “Share Your Life… Share Your Blood.”

Maya entered her “Share Your Life… Share Your Blood” blood drive recruitment campaign in the 2016 Community Blood Center/Vectren Lead The Way Creative Scholarship competition last spring.  She was one of five seniors from across CBC’s 15-county region awarded a $1,000 college scholarship.

The judges were so impressed with her empathetic slogan and original artwork that her design was chosen for the t-shirt given to donors this fall at all CBC high school blood drives. It’s a rare honor for a scholarship winner’s complete design to be used for the following year’s high school t-shirt.

“I am truly ecstatic that my design was chosen for so many high schoolers to wear!” said Maya. “The theme “Share your life, share your blood” means so much to me, and I hope that when they wear that shirt that they feel so great about giving blood because it truly does make a difference in someone’s life.”

Maya began donating when she turned 16. She has seven lifetime donations, the equivalent of nearly a gallon of blood. Her t-shirt design features two figures connected by a single arm with the color red flowing from one to the other.

“I hope that it inspires people to donate blood,” she said, “because even if they don’t directly know the recipient of their blood, they are connected for life, and a connection like that is priceless.”

Maya’s t-shirt debuted at Vandalia Butler High School’s Sept. 2 blood drive, the first of the year among CBC’s Ohio high schools.  “I like the t-shirt. I think it’s cool,” said blood drive volunteer Casey Petrae.

For Maya, sharing her message with high school kids across the region is just another way of “connecting” with the cause of blood donations.

“Technology is such a huge part of society these days and people can connect with others all around the globe,” she said. “What is a better connection than a donor and a recipient?

“I always think about where my blood goes and who receives it. I don’t personally know the person, but I know that I helped better their life and I will always have that connection with them.”

Maya’s alma mater Houston High School does not hold its annual blood drive until May 3, 2016, when CBC will have switched to the spring high school t-shirt.  But Maya’s former classmates will receive her t-shirt when they register to donate. “We held enough back to make sure they get them,” said CBC’s Shelby County Account Representative Kathy Pleiman.



DAYTON, Ohio – Outreach Pastor Kirk Lithander calls 2010 “the tipping point” for the community blood drive hosted by the Fairhaven Church Centerville Campus.  It was named “Paula’s Blood Drive” in memory of his wife Paula, and in the past six years her legacy has grown as Fairhaven became a model for Community Blood Center blood drives.

Fairhaven Church hosts six CBC blood drives a year, with the next scheduled Saturday, Oct. 22 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon in the Multi-Activity Center.  This year CBC again honored Fairhaven with the Platinum award in the LifeSaving Ambassadors Club, the highest level of recognition for blood drive achievement.

Fairhaven has been partnering with CBC to host community blood drives since 1997. But it was in 2010 that Fairhaven doubled the number of blood drives to six, increased donors from 130 to 291 and saw donations rise from 105 to 246, a 134 percent increase.  Fairhaven now averages more than 325 donors per year.

“That personalized it,” Kirk Lithander said. “People said they wanted to give on behalf of Paula.  Not only did church members and people that knew her step up and give, but members of the community wanted to give on behalf of Paula – someone who needed it and benefited from it – and more became regular donors.”

“God was the center of her life and she had a strong faith and a heart for social justice,” is how Kirk described Paula.  “She was a pastor’s wife, a missionary, mother of four including one adopted child from Bolivia where we served as missionaries for seven years.”  She was best known at Fairhaven for her talent as a vocalist and musician on the Praise Team choir.

She was diagnosed with melanoma in 1996, but Kirk said, “Our prayer was for God to give us time to raise our children. God answered her prayers.” But in 2009 the cancer returned.

“My wife courageously fought stage four malignant melanoma cancer for three and a half months,” said Kirk.  “She needed monthly blood transfusions to give her immune system a boost due to her chemo treatments.”

Kirk said Paula launched a CaringBridge Journal website and wrote online about the need for blood transfusions and encouraged donations.

“Instead of curling up in ball, mad at God, mad at the world, she said I’m going to use this CaringBridge Journal to share what’s important to her,” said Kirk. “In the midst of her body being ravaged with cancer, she kept a very positive outlook.  She didn’t complain.  She said, ‘I’m going to choose joy.’  To this day, someone stops me and says Paula’s ‘I choose joy’ – I have used that so many times with friends going through difficult times.”

Paula lost her battle with cancer on August 5, 2009. Her final journal entry she wrote about her transfusions. “Each drop was given freely and sacrificially,” she said. “Now is a good time to remind people to donate blood. Every unit of blood revived my body.”

“As a pastor I have done many funerals,” said Kirk. “I rejoice when people say ‘we really miss your wife, let me tell you what she did.’  I say thank you God for a wife who has left such a legacy, our family, our community, in our church.”




FORT LORAMIE, Ohio – A photo of long-time St. Michael’s Hall blood drive organizer Shirley Simon greeted donors arriving at the annual fall blood drive on Oct. 18 instead of Shirley herself.  She passed away in Septembers and fellow volunteers were united in dedicating the blood drive in her memory.

The St. Michaels’s Hall blood drive is sponsored by Fort Loramie Community Service Club, Fort Loramie American Legion Auxiliary, and Fort Loramie Knights of St. John. Shirley was a member of St. Michael’s Parish and the American Legion Auxiliary, and began organizing blood drive volunteers in 1983.

“When Shirley passed away our first thought was ‘Wow.’ With all she has done for the blood drive, the Community Service Club said ‘why don’t we dedicate the blood drive to her,’” said coordinator Jane Poeppelman.   “I think she would have been very, very happy.  Her daughter Juli donated today and she said her mother would be honored.”

Shirley might also have been pleased by Fort Loramie’s continued support for the St. Michael’s Hall blood drives, Community Blood Center’s most productive community blood drive in Shelby County.  The fall St. Michael’s Hall blood drive is not the largest because donors who farm are busy with the harvest. But Tuesday’s blood drive reached 102 percent of goal with 241 donors and 235 whole blood donations, plus 14 platelet donations.

Fort Loramie’s Diane Siegel talked about Shirley’s legacy while donating double red blood cells for her 39th lifetime donation. “She was definitely a good person,” Diane said. “Everybody knew her and everybody loved her.”

Shirley was “universal donor” because of her O negative blood type and donated more than eight gallons of blood in her lifetime.  She was extremely active volunteer in the community, including her service as the first woman elected to a Shelby County school board.

“We were in the stock club together,” said Diny Albers after making her 72nd lifetime donation Tuesday. “We had our first meeting last night without her.”

Shirley’s husband Richard “Dick” Simon, who died in 2010, ran the family’s Oldsmobile dealership in Willowsdale. “I’ve known Shirley and Dick forever,” said Brian Albers as he made his 59th lifetime donation. “Shirley was a good lady.”

“We grew up with their family,” said Tom Geise, who made his 69th lifetime donation Tuesday. “They ran the Oldsmobile dealership and my dad bought several cars from them. They were good people.”


The St. Michael’s blood drive was an opportunity for CBC Shelby County Account Representative Kathy Pleiman to recruit donors for the Dec. 27 Houston community blood drive that will include appointments for apheresis donations.  CBC is now able to accept female apheresis donors and will be recruiting eligible donors for upcoming blood drives.

“Our Shelby County donors kind of show up when we need them,” said Kathy.

Houston donor Coila Jones, an apheresis donor with 73 lifetime donations, said adding apheresis to the Houston blood drive means she won’t have to travel to another blood drive to make her December apheresis donation.

“I hate that I wasn’t able to support our only community one, but now I can,” she said.




LEBANON, Ohio – High school students come to the Warren County Career Center to discover a new home and a vocational calling.  Many are also answering the call to be blood donors, and that helped WCCC earn a $1,000 High School Leadership grant as Community Blood Center’s “Most Improved” high school blood drive in the 2015-2016 academic year.

WCCC student donors celebrate the award as they rolled up their sleeves Wednesday, Oct. 12 to support the first blood drive of the new school year.  They want to continue the momentum that began when WCCC went from hosting a single blood drive in 2014-2015 to hosting both a fall and spring blood drive in 2015-2016.

An additional 97 WCCC students registered to donate last year, an increase of 226 percent.  It was the highest rate of improvement among the 118 high schools that hosted 226 blood drives in CBC’s 15-county region of eastern Indiana and western Ohio.

“It’s great!” said WCCC blood drive coordinator and school nurse Sharon Moeller. “It’s something we didn’t expect at all. We’ve very pleased.”

Sharon was quick to note that simply adding a new blood drive didn’t guarantee success.  Students had to have the right encouragement to support it.

“Our teachers helped talk it up with the students,” she said. “They really encouraged them and let them know they are helping people. Most of all, they allowed them to take the time away from class to donate. It’s a disruption. But the administrators and staff really support it.”

The result was a full schedule of donors. “It went very well,” said Sharon. “We always have at least 10 who really want to donate but we don’t have the room.”

Wednesday’s first blood drive of the fall proved WCCC is off to another good year. Students supported the blood drive with 73 registrations, including 42 first-time donors and 54 blood donations for 110 percent of the collection goal.

“I don’t like seeing my own blood, but it’s something I make myself do,” said Jenna March, a sports medicine student from Trenton who earned CBC Red Cord honors with her third lifetime donation Wednesday. “There are people who have been in a car accident and they need healthy blood. I could be in an accident and need healthy blood. You never know.”

“It’s a good thing to do,” said graphic student Lilith Kelly after making her first lifetime donation.

Senior Criminal Justice students Morgan Conover and Christina McElwain snacked on cookies and sipped water as they waited to donate. It was the fourth lifetime donation for Morgan and the third for Christina.

They believe students who are interested in public safety are especially inclined to support the blood drive. “It’s saving lives and helping people,” they said.

Senior William Huff made his third lifetime donation at the blood drive and hopes to donate at least twice more before graduation. He’s studying Fire Science Management and his goal is to a firefighter and paramedic.

“I love helping people,” William said. “Every time you guys come I donate blood. I don’t care about the pain as long as I can help someone else. That’s all I care about.”

CBC annually awards five High School Leadership grants. Recipients for 2015-2016 included Wayne High School for “Most Donors,” Seton Catholic High School for “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” participating in school blood drives and the Butler Tech Bioscience Center in Hamilton as the runner-up. Fairmont High School earned the “Red Cord Excellence” grant for the highest number of student donors qualifying for the CBC Red Cord Honor Program.

WCCC’s spring blood drive will be March 7, 2017.