‘DONOR FOR LIFE’ TOMMY ROGERS HAS REASON TO CELEBRATE

Tommy Rogers 100 LTD

West Carrollton donor Thomas “Tommy” Rogers talked about special dinner plans for the weekend with his fiance Zara as he made his regular platelet donation Friday, July 14 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.  They would be celebrating her new job and his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation.

“She’s a donor too, I guess thanks to me,” he said.  Tommy and Zara are engaged to be married in December.  “She just got a new job. Between this and her job, it’s a good weekend! We’ll go out to dinner Saturday night.”

Just to add icing to the cake, Tommy made a double platelet donation. “I told everyone, on my day of 100 I will do a double!” he said.

Tommy started donating in 2009 at West Carrollton High School.  He learned he was both an O positive donor, the universal donor for all patients with Rh positive blood, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.”  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

He immediately began going to the Dayton CBC to make automated donations. “My second donation was double reds (double red blood cells).  He continued to make double reds donations and in 2010 he began donating platelets and plasma.

“I donate as much as I can,” said Tommy.  He said he could “only” donate about once a month while he was a student at Miami University. He graduated with an education degree in 2015. “I can donate more now,” he said. “I had 22 last year.”

He started out as an English tutor, but wanted to find other ways to help people. He now works for RMS of Ohio in Kettering, helping people with developmental disabilities by providing home medical and residential care.

He’s a busy young man with a wedding to plan by Christmas time, but he stays dedicated to his “Donor for Life” journey.

“It’s an addiction!” he said with a smile. “I think of it as an easy way to help people.”

 

DONOR FOR LIFE JOURNEY IS ROSEY FOR 100-TIME DONOR VICKI RISH

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Her rose garden has been a challenge this summer for Dayton-Riverside donor Victoria “Vicki” Rish, but everything else is coming up roses along her Donor for Life journey. Vicki reached the milestone of 100 lifetime donations with her July 14 visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center.

“I knew it was getting close,” said Vicki, who started donating in her hometown of Marion, Ohio. She’s been a CBC donor since July of 1999.  “I usually come on my lunch hour – like today!” she said.

Vicki is dedicated to giving blood and to her career in social services. She has worked as a housing counselor for the Community Action Partnership for more than 10 years.

“The way I see it, I can donate when a lot of people can’t,” she said. “I’m an O positive donor and I know a lot of people can use O positive blood.”

Vicki is both an O positive donor, the universal donor for all patients with Rh positive blood, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.”  CMC negative means he has not been exposed to the common cytomegalovirus.  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

“I’m a reader and I do a bit of gardening,” she said of her favorite pastimes. “I’m growing some roses but they could use more attention this season!”

Roses have their thorns, but the reward is in the blooming.  Congratulations to Vicki Rish for her well-tended garden of Donor for Life giving.

COMMUNITY CARING, TEEN SPIRIT AT KETTERING UNITY BLOOD DRIVE

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KETTERING, Ohio – July is American Spirit Month at Community Blood Center and there is no better mid-summer celebration of community spirit, high school teen spirt, and the high-spirited thrills of Kings Island than with the July 14 “Kettering Unity in the Community Blood Drive” at Trent Arena.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Alter and Fairmont High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union, with the Kettering Unity Blood Drive serving as the summer kick-off to the campaign.

In the fall Universal 1 will award $500 to each high school for holding blood drive and the schools will combine the awards and present $1,000 to a charity at an Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

As an extra thanks to the community for support of the summer blood drive, everyone who registered to donate received a free ticket to Kings Island good for any day of the current season.

The result was a spirited boost to the mid-summer blood supply.  The Unity blood drive totaled 157 donors, including 48 first-time donors, and 120 donations.

“My mom told me about it,” said Fairmont senior Guillermo Rached, who made his first lifetime donation Friday. “She’s a donor and she got the email.”

Anne Rose is a 2016 Alter graduate now studying early childhood education at Wright State University. Anne’s blood type is type O positive, which has been in high demand this summer. She made her seventh donation Friday. “I try to go as often as I can, even though I still have classes over the summer,” she said.

Fairmont senior Emily Ray brought along her mom and dad Carrie and Tom Ray, both first-time donors. They plan on putting their Kings Island tickets to good use. “I’m going to ride the rides, and I got him to agree to go with me,” she said, pointing to her dad Tom. “I just watch!” said her mom Carrie.

Fairmont junior Kelso Kuhnel is still just 16 years old, but made his third lifetime donation Friday. “I donated at both my school blood drives and my mom told me about this one. She’s a volunteer at the hospital.”

Rachel Holtgreive is another Alter alumnus who came out to support the blood drive. She made her sixth lifetime donation Friday. “I’m a junior at St. Louis University,” she said. “I’m studying medicine. I’m not sure yet if it will be med school, nursing or P.A.”

Lynn Jordan waited to donate with her four children, ages one through six, playing on the floor.  A trip to Kings Island is in their summer plans.  “We’ve had swim meets every weekend, so we wouldn’t have been able to go until now anyway!” she said.

Appointments were required for Unity blood drive.  But City of Kettering staff member Jennifer Smith came to Trent Arena on her lunch hour to work out and was able to fill a spot that came open.

“I came to lift and decided to see if I could donate. I came with a friend and talked him into donating,” she said.  “It’s been several years,” said her co-worker Scott Bates, “but I thought I might as well give it a try.”

Oakwood High students Mackenzie Skidmore and Mason White came to support the Kettering Unity blood drive and we’re impressed by the Fairmont-Alter campaign. “We should do this with Oakwood and Bellbrook because they’re our rivals,” said Mackenzie.

Carrie, Tom and Emily Ray

LARRY LAPUH KEEPS STEADY, UNRUFFLED, MARATHONER’S PACE TO 500 LIFETIME DONATIONS

Larry Lapuh 500 LTD

DAYTON, Ohio – Fairborn donor and retired U.S. Air Force Captain Larry Lapuh has logged many miles as a marathon runner and a Donor for Life.  Giving blood to help save lives has become such an established routine that he jogged through the July 6 celebration of his 500th lifetime blood donation and left feeling apologetic.  He wished he had shown more excitement about his milestone.

The Dayton Community Blood Center staff celebrated Larry with pats on the back, helium balloons, and a table of cupcakes arranged in the number “500.”  He took home some cupcakes but left behind the balloons.

“I felt good,” explained Larry. “It was good for me. It’s consistency, that’s all.  Just keep doing it.  But it’s like when people ask me about donating so much and I jokingly tell them, ‘This is my social event of the week.’”

Larry has a 25-year history with CBC and everyone that knows him has come to appreciate his tranquil demeanor and dry sense of humor.  “They all put up with me!” he said.

Larry began donating in his hometown of Granville, Illinois and continued in the military. His history with CBC began with a phone call.  He had volunteered to be a bone marrow donor in 1992, the same year he retired from the Air Force.  CBC contacted him in 1994 to ask if he would become one of the first donors in CBC’s fledgling bone marrow program.

After a six-month recovery period from his bone marrow donation he became a blood donor with CBC. Soon he was donating platelets and plasma.  He kept increasing his pace until he was averaging 20 or more donations a year. He reached his milestone 400th donation in 2013 and said, “It’s the right thing to do, so you do it.”

Larry has a similar passion for running. He has run 19 marathons, including the Air Force Marathon, hosted by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he worked in supply and budgeting from his arrival there in 1985 to retirement.

His marathoner mentality shows both in the way his exercise routine keeps him lean and fit and in his dedication to twice-a-month apheresis donations.

Larry is a long distance runner in every sense.  He keeps a steady pace, stays the course, and keeps driving toward the finish line of every new challenge.

The last marathon Larry ran was in 2008. “I’d still like to do another one,” he said, “but each year gets worse! I did 13 miles on Saturday and it made me realize how hard it is.”

He faces challenges to maintaining his marathon pace of platelet donations, but he never claims that the giving is hard to do. He just makes it look calm and easy.

Larry Lapuh 500 with CBC staff

GIFT OF LIFE JOURNEY FOR FAIRBORN’S BETH PLAYER NOW INCLUDES 100 CBC DONATIONS

Beth Player 100 LTD

Fairborn donor Beth Player is a “Johnny Appleseed” of blood donations.  Her blood type is O negative and she was inspired to become a donor by her father, also a “Universal Donor.”  Beth and her husband Dave have traveled the country during his U.S. Air Force career, donating together in various states.  She made her milestone 100th lifetime donation with Community Blood Center on June 29 at the Dayton Donor Center.

“I started donating in Wilmington, Delaware,” said Beth. “My father was a donor and I decided I would do this.  Every time we moved we found another place to donate.”

“My dad is an O negative,” she said. “He would always say, ‘They need, they need, they need.’  It’s a short time out of the day. It’s an easy donation.”

Beth is both an O negative donor, the universal donor for all patients in need, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.”  CMC negative means he has not been exposed to the common cytomegalovirus.  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

“We moved here in 1978,” she said. “I was probably around 79 or 80 donations.  I found out when I came here I’m CMV-negative.  I would know if needed it was going to a baby or a child.”

Beth worked most recently as a health department educator. She and Dave are now both retired. They have two children and 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 13 to two.

They donate together at mobile blood drives in the Fairborn area and at the Dayton CBC.  Dave, an O positive donor, made his 124th lifetime donation with CBC when Beth made her 100th.  Their “Johnny Appleseed” journey of helping others continues.

RETIRED WPAFB JET ENGINEER MARK REITZ CELEBRATES MILESTONE 400TH LIFETIME BLOOD DONATION

Mark Reitz 400 LTD

Kettering donor Mark Reitz is a retired Wright Patterson Air Force Base propulsion engineer who enjoys woodworking, bicycling, babysitting his grandchildren, and being a dedicated “Donor for Life.” With his regular appointment to give platelets on Friday, July 7 at the Dayton CBC Mark celebrated his milestone 400th lifetime blood donation.

It was Mark’s style to reach his milestone by making sure to keep his appointment despite the distractions of the July 4th holiday week.  CBC staff members thanked Mark and helped him celebrate his milestone with a party in the Donor Café featuring cupcakes forming the number “400.”

Mark started donating whole blood in 1981 when the CBC Bloodmobile would visit Wright Patt.

He began donating platelets in 2000, but continued to also alternate with whole blood donations.  He has been donating platelets and plasma exclusively since 2013 and reached his milestone 300th LTD milestone in early 2014.  He said at the time, “I retired after 36 years as a civilian engineer working in the Propulsion Lab. I have more time to donate, so now I try to come down once a week.”

Mark has continued to keep his dedicated pace as a Donor for Life, and now that has brought him to his 400 donation milestone. “Once a week might cause dedicated donors to ask how he does that,” he said, “but it does average out to coming down once in every two weeks or less, about 30 times a year.”

Mark believes in giving back to the community, especially in times of need.  He made three trips to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina with a busload of volunteers from several Lutheran church groups to help rebuilt homes. His final trip was with Habitat for Humanity.

“Since retiring, I have been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Dayton with a group called the “Golden Hammers” for the past three years,” he said.  “We do volunteer work every Wednesday for them.”

Mark Reitz 400 staff

 

JD’S FROZEN CUSTARD HELPS SCOOP UP JULY 4TH HOLIDAY BLOOD DONORS WITH ‘GIVE A PINT, GET A PINT’ BLOOD DRIVE

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ENGLEWOOD, Ohio – Mint Chocolate Chip was the “flavor of the day” Thursday, June 29 at the 12th annual JD’s Old Fashioned Frozen Custard “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” Blood drive. But the mission of the day was again helping save lives by boosting the blood supply before the busy July 4th holiday weekend.

JD’s and Fairview Brethren in Christ Church continued the tradition of partnering with Community Blood Center to sponsor simultaneous Union Blvd. blood drives.  JD’s again donated coupons for a free pint of frozen custard to everyone who registered to donate at either blood drive.

The July 4th weekend is usually the most challenging time of summer for CBC to recruit enough blood donors.  The strong support for both blood drives Thursday was timely because type O blood continues to be in short supply.

“I’m really excited about how many people responded,” said JD’s owner and blood drive coordinator Cindy Gress.

“It’s been really steady,” said Mark Ballard, pastor of Fairview Brethren in Christ Church, who made his 183rd lifetime donation to support the blood drive. “I’ll give again if you need me, I’ve got another arm!”

Mark Ballard said he became a donor with a “double” donation.  “I started giving about 30 years ago when my daughter was born with a congenital heart defect,” he said. “She had two open heart surgeries and I started giving then.  She’s 29 now and doing great.”

Young Englewood mom Ashley Hall donated while her five-year old daughter Raelyn and eight-year old son Justin waited on the Bloodmobile. “JD’s is nice and convenient and the kids like the ice cream!” she said.

John Combs is 27, but still gets reminders from his mom to donate at JD’s.  “She knows it comes around every year, and she lets me know as soon as she finds out!” he said.

First-time donor Erica Brown-Lewis said, “I was a little nervous at first, but I said, ‘We have role models in here!”  One of those role models was David Francisco, who made his 51st donation across the aisle from Erica.

David likes the custard, but would really like to win the Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle in CBC’s “Scouting for Donors Summer Blood Drive” giveaway.

“I want the motorcycle,” said David.  “My dad had an Indian before I was born. It’s long gone but I’ve seen pictures of it.”

Donating at JD’s felt like playing hooky for Krista Stump, who made her 53rd lifetime donation. She retired as principal of Ansonia Elementary School exactly one year ago and this is her first full summer of retirement.

“I drove all the way from Greenville,” said Krista. “We love JD’s as a family!”

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