Rob Huddleston 2 LTD

FORT LORAMIE, Ohio – The St. Michael’s Hall fall blood drive comes during October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It’s a personal tradition for coordinator Jane Poeppelman to add a message to the back of her Community Blood Center “I Fight Cancer” t-shirt.

Jane turned to show “Survivor” printed in bold, red letters. “I wanted pink, but red was a close as I could get,” she said.  Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 years ago. “I’m hanging in there,” she said. “I was in there a month ago and all was a go.”

Chemotherapy is often damaging to blood cells, making it vital for cancer patients to receive red cell and platelet transfusions.  The Tuesday, Oct. 17 blood drive at St. Michael’s helped the fight against cancer by reaching 114 percent of collection goal. The 251 whole blood units donated actually exceeded the number of donors thanks to 23 double-red cell donations, plus nine platelet and plasma donations.

Cancer touches lives everywhere, including many of the 241 donors at St. Michael’s.  Fort Loramie chiropractor Rob Huddleston and his wife Jenny have two young children. Rob began donating to show support for Jenny after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2016.

“One reason why I’m doing it,” Rob said, “if she can handle all the pokes and needles she’s been through, I can tolerate a few pokes to do this.”

Rob talked about how Jenny found a lump under her arm.  They suspected a simple infection, but tests revealed it was a rapidly advancing cancer. She underwent three and a half months of chemotherapy, followed by a double mastectomy and radiation.

On Feb. 25, 2017, the one-year anniversary of her diagnosis, Rob and Jenny went on a Buckeye Cancer Cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.  They traveled with Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer and a host of Buckeye greats, including A.J. Hawk and Ezekiel Elliot.

“It was all good this year,” said Rob, until red flags emerged in August.  They found spots of cancer in her shoulder, neck and tailbone.  Instead of chemo, she will undergo a specially-engineered two-drug therapy at Ohio State.  It’s an approach that has shown promise in other patients.

“She’s anxious to get into treatment, and see if that’s working,” said Rob. “That would make her feel a whole lot better. It’s just the waiting game that bothers her.”

As he sat waiting to make his 89th lifetime blood donation, Fort Loramie’s Tom Pleiman talked about his own battle against cancer. “In 1995 I had a tumor on my small intestine,” he said. “They removed a section and I had chemo for one year.  I was cancer free.  Twenty-plus years and I feel great.”

Instead of using the warm October afternoon for farm work, Shelby County Commissioner came to St. Michael’s for his usual double red blood cell donation.  He wore a pink tie as he went about county business on Tuesday. He said he will switch to a purple for Thursday’s commission meeting in honor of a proclamation for domestic violence awareness.

Tony now has 108 lifetime donations. He believes one of the most reliable ways to help his community is to be a blood donor.  “You just keep doing what you can do,” he said.

Tony Bornhorst double reds



Light The Night Circle of Survivors

KETTERING, Ohio – The Light The Night walk in Kettering on Oct. 5 was a beautiful contradiction.  The way a sad, grey day became a clear, bright night.  The way paper lanterns were enough to chase the dark. And the way people who have known so much sorrow managed to find an uncommon joy.

“We’re here to tell Dayton and to tell the world that we want to see the end of cancer,” co-host Nancy Wilson from WHIO radio told the Fraze Pavilion crowd. They gathered at sunset for the Circle of Survivors ceremony introduced this year at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society national fundraiser.

As the blood cancer survivors raised their white lanterns in unison it was easy to understand why this simple stroll through a neighborhood on a night in early fall has become one of the country’s best known fundraising and disease-battling events.

The Dayton walk had met the goal of topping the $249,000 raised in 2016. Survivor Donnie Hill’s PMCI Pacers team was again the top corporate fundraising team ($33,175) followed by Kettering Health Network ($29,435) and Light The Night sponsor Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services ($28,450).

The teams and supporters had mingled together at the park and gathered for the emotional lantern lighting ceremony. All that remained was for 2017 “Honored Hero” Eli Leingang, a seven-year-old leukemia survivor from Pleasant Hill, to lead the crowd on the walk around Fraze Pavilion and the Lincoln Park pond.

The red, white and gold lanterns symbolize supporters, survivors and those lost to blood cancer.  Each lantern, bobbing in the night as walkers circled the dark pond, represented a life story.

“Team Lisa” walked for Lisa Lockhart, who was diagnosed with AML leukemia in 2015. Her treatment included blood transfusions three times a week at Miami Valley Hospital. “It was very tiring,” she said. “When your platelets are low and your blood is low you have no energy. It’s hard on your body. I am so thankful.”

Rosie Ariasfernandes walked with her friends from Kettering Cancer Care. She was diagnosed with AML on April 15 and started treatment the next day, Easter Sunday.  She is in remission.

“It’s overwhelming,” she said of the Light The Night experience. “Everybody is so incredibly kind. The doctors are fantastic, my doctor is great.”

“We were in the hospital on this date five years ago tonight,” said Cory and Carmen Osenbaugh of “Team Ginger.” Their daughter Ginger was 10 years old when diagnosed with leukemia and served as the Dayton Honored Hero for the 2014 Light The Night.

Ginger is now a tall, happy sophomore at Centerville High School who accepted an invitation to her homecoming dance during Thursday’s Light The Night.

“It feels really special,” she said about returning to Light The Night as a survivor. “Because I understand what they’re going through. It’s hard. It’s important to be here because you know what they’re going through.”

The “Fight Lymphoma” team from the Miami Valley Hospital pharmacy walked for Melissa Mason. The petite 29-year-old was diagnosed with lymphoma in June. The treatment she began in July is grueling, and she needs a walker for support.  Each round requires 12 days in the hospital for spinal injections, home for five days, then another week in the hospital.

“My most recent PET scan is clear,” she said. “I’m not out of the woods yet, but that’s pretty good.”

It seems to be one of the contradictions of Light The Night to see some of the warmest smiles on groups who walked the darkness carrying golden lanterns.  Hope for their loved one’s survival had vanished in the darkness of the disease, but their hope is for others.

Twenty-two year old Adam and his 14-year old brother Sean talked about their mother Darlene Armitage who was diagnosed with AML on Valentine’s Day 2015, fought bravely for eight months, and died Nov. 1, 2015.

“Everything was going great, but the cancer came back,” said Adam. “Me and my brother were with her when she took her last breath. She was a great person. She lived for all of us in our family. We live for her now.”

As the walk ended the teams said goodbyes and turned to home. One group paused to talk about the namesake for “Team William.”

“This is our first year,” said Amy Davis.  “He was 13. He was diagnosed on July 5, 2013 and lost his battle Aug. 2, 2013. He was diagnosed with the leukemia with the Philadelphia chromosome. It’s a dangerous chromosome and progresses very fast.”

William was just a seventh grader at Mad River Middle School and the disease overwhelmed him. “It was the longest month ever, and the shortest month ever,” said Rachel Ashbaugh, girlfriend to William’s brother Tim Lipscomb.

“We’ll be back next year,” said Amy, who praised William’s sister Gabrielle for organizing the team. “If we can raise money for kids like William, it’s worth the time and effort we put into it.”


Henry Trimble 100 LTD

After 30 years of helping keep the computers and busses running smoothly at Dayton RTA, Trotwood donor Henry “Hank” Trimble is ready to ride into the sunset and retire in Florida.

But before ringing the bell with his stop coming up, he had an important ticket to punch on his bucket list. Hank cruised by his 100th lifetime donation milestone Oct. 2 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

“I try to come every month,” said Hank, who is a dedicated platelet and plasma donor. “It’s just plasma today but I usually do both.  I had a goal to get 100 because I’m retiring from RTA in January and moving to Florida, so it was kind of my goal!”

Hank plans to keep donating from his new home in the Ocala area of central Florida, but he wanted to reach his 100 donation milestone with CBC.

“I think my first time was here (at the Dayton CBC), maybe ’87,” he said about the beginning of his Donor for Life journey. “I came in to do whole blood, but when they found out I was AB positive they shifted me over here (to apheresis) immediately because I’m a universal donor for apheresis.”

“For an hour a month, it’s a small price to pay for the benefit others can get out of it,” he said.

Hank won’t be a stranger to the Miami Valley, and he hopes to make a few final donations with CBC before winter comes to Ohio and he flies south for warmer climes.

Since he’s retiring as an IT manager at RTA, he expects to stay busy with some contract work in computers. He won’t forget family and friends. “I come from a large family, but they can visit me now,” he said.

Congratulations Hank! You’ll always be a part of the CBC family as a true Donor for Life.



Piqua Wins CBC-US Bank Challenge Prize

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – It’s a milestone year in Miami County’s oldest and most lively rivalry with the 20th annual Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive coming during rival week of the Oct. 27 Troy-Piqua football game.

Troy and Piqua High Schools will host competing blood drives on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The Troy and Piqua US Bank branches will host competing blood drives on Thursday, Oct. 26.  Each registration to donate represents a vote for one of the rival towns with the winning high school claiming a $1,000 prize from sponsor US Bank.

The 20th anniversary comes at the most competitive time in the history of the blood drive. Just five votes decided the 2016 Challenge.  Troy surrendered the traveling trophy to Piqua last year, but the loss came after a flurry of three Troy victories in four years.

The 2016 win helped swing the series back in Piqua’s favor with a 14-4-1 record.  Troy won the first Challenge in 1998 but that was followed by a string of 12 Piqua victories, broken only by a tie in 2001.

Last year all four blood drives took place during rivalry week, and both sides credit that concentrated effort for the most successful results in the Challenge history.  The four blood drives totaled 414 donors, 141 first-time donors and 334 donations.

“Living and working in Piqua is a blessing!” said US Bank Piqua Branch Manager Emily Shawler, coordinator of the winning blood drive. “Living, working, and giving back to the community is even better! We are celebrating 20 years. Please come and donate blood to make this blood drive a huge success! Go P-I-Q-U-A, Beat Troy!”

The 2017 Challenge adds a new wrinkle.  There will no longer be paper ballots at the community blood drives.  Similar to the high school blood drives, a registration to donate at a community blood drive is an automatic vote for the host community.

It means if you want to vote for Piqua you must register to donate at the Piqua US Bank branch at 200 North College St. If you want to vote for Troy, you must register to donate at the Troy US Bank branch at 910 West Main St.  Donation hours for both blood drives are 12 noon to 6 p.m.

CBC encourages donors to schedule an appointment online at or call 1-800-388-GIVE. Everyone who registers to donate will receive the “I Fight Cancer – I Give Blood” t-shirt.

The 2017 game will be the 133rd renewal of the Troy-Piqua football rivalry, one of the oldest in Ohio. The Challenge winner will be announced and the $1,000 award check presented Friday, Oct. 27 before kick-off at Troy Memorial Stadium.



David Gaylor 200 LTD

Back in August of 2016 when Springfield donor David Gaylor made his 175th lifetime donation he said, “I thought I was getting close to my goal of 200 donations and I’ve set a goal for 300.”  Now David can knock 200 off his bucket list and take full aim at the next big milestone.

Most of David’s apheresis donations over the years have been at the Dayton Community Blood Center. He recently moved to Springfield and has been donating at the Springfield CBC, but returned to Dayton on Sept. 29 for his milestone 200th donation.

“It seems to have gone quicker,” he said about reaching 200.  “I had about 75 donations before getting into apheresis. “I can come more often, and I can help more. I can get into a routine and try to give every two weeks.”

He made 23 platelet and plasma donations in 2016 and reached 200 with his 17th donation of 2017.

David has a long history with CBC, one of the reasons coming to donate always feels like a family visit. “I remember when I started it was before all the new construction, it was at the old Fidelity building,” he said. “When I started apheresis it was on the second floor of this building and I wondered what it was.”

David retired from NCR in ’95. He and his wife Stephanie have been married nearly 43 years and raised three sons.  One son is in Colorado and the other in Arizona. Their youngest son lives in Mechanicsburg and they moved to Springfield to be closer to their nine and 11 year old granddaughters.

When he reached his 175th donation Davis said, “It’s nice to feel you’re with friends here, you’re never a stranger, and it makes you want to come back.”  He feels the same way about the staff in Springfield.

“You develop camaraderie with the folks here,” he said. “It’s like the bar in ‘Cheers,’ everybody knows your name!”

Some of the names and faces may change, no matter how quickly David reaches his next goal of 300 donations.  But he will never be a stranger to his CBC family and his mission of helping save lives.


Joanna Gibson 1 LTD

CEDARVILLE, Ohio – The first chilly mornings that came with the official arrival of fall had Cedarville University students pulling on sweatshirts as they walked to class. Many rolled up those long sleeves to help save lives by supporting the Sept. 28-29 fall blood drive.

Students donated Thursday in the Stevens Student Center and Friday on the Community Blood Center Bloodmobile.  The fall blood drive totaled 127 donors, including 64 first-time donors and 95 donations for 114 percent of the collection goal.

“I like donating blood. My parents always did it,” said Elissa Uithol, a sophomore linguistics major from Hawaii who made her third lifetime donation Friday. Both her parents serve in the military and are stationed in Hawaii.  “It’s a good thing to do. You can help people and it’s an easy thing to do.”

The blood drive came on the final days of the Saving Lives Knocks Our Socks Off” campaign and everyone who registered to donate got a free pair of colorful socks decorated with blood type symbols.  Despite the change in weather, many students weren’t ready to give up sandals and flip flops. But they stuffed the socks into their backpacks saying they may come in handy as the days get cooler.

The donor beds on the Bloodmobile quickly filled up with students, many of them from the nursing program.

“I heard about the blood drive from one of my nursing professors,” said nursing student Elise Davis, a first-time donor from Lancaster, Massachusetts. “I have friends that have needed blood. One was in a car accident and the other was a cancer patient. They both survived.”

Chris Tenhundfeld is a freshman nursing student from Kinston, Ohio who first donated in high school.

“I started donating my freshman years when I turned 16,” he said. “I always thought it’s a good way to help people. I knew I wanted to do something medical for a career and decided on nursing.”

Peter Schoenhals, a senior from Archbold, Ohio studying middle childhood education made his second lifetime donation Friday. “I thought it would be helpful,” he said.

Many faculty and staff members supported the blood drive. Racha Gruet, an administrative assistant in the Communications department, made her third lifetime donation Friday.  She still gets a little nervous before donating but said, “I do it every time the blood drive comes to campus.”

The next Cedarville blood drive is tentatively scheduled for February.

Elissa Uithol 3 LTD


Ann Wolf celebration

Xenia donor Ann Wolf comes from a “big Catholic farm family of seven boys and four girls” and spent 37 years as a high school special education teacher.  She laughs when she says giving blood was probably the most relaxing hour of her day. With familiar ease she donated platelets Thursday, Sept. 28 to complete her milestone 400th lifetime blood donation.

Ann is only the third female donor with Community Blood Center to top 400 donations and she ranks among the top 15 donors overall.  She routinely makes double platelet apheresis donations, and after her milestone the Dayton CBC Donor Center staff celebrated her with a cake and cupcakes forming the number 400.

She grew up in Mercer County and spent the early years of her career teaching in Darke County.  She says helping neighbors and giving back to the community was a way of life, and giving blood was part of the tradition.

“I did it because my dad did it, and my mom,” said Ann. “I guess it’s something that you inherit.”

She thought back to the beginning of her “Donor for Life” journey and said, “I was teaching in Greenville, I think it was around ’75 when I started. A supervisor at the school where I was teaching got cancer. After she recovered she started a blood drive.”

Ann taught special education at Greenville High School then moved to Greene County where she taught at Greeneview in Jamestown and the Greene County Career Center.  She spent two years teaching at an American school in Venezuela.

Ann and her husband Don have been married 23 years and live on a farm outside of Xenia. “When I moved here he was farming about 600 acres,” she said. “He’s down to about 400 now.”

Ann was quick to recruit Don as a blood donor. “I said, ‘As healthy as you are, and you don’t give blood? Come on!’” Don started donating in 1995 and now has 93 lifetime donations.

She’s excited that Don is approaching his 100th donation milestone. “When I knew I was getting closer to 400 it became a goal,” she said. “But 100 was big. I remember feeling, ‘I did it!’ The rest have flown by.”

Ann has been donating platelets since the early 80’s when she was asked to join the new apheresis program.  She’s thankful that good health has allowed her to consistently donate. “I never get cold. I can walk barefoot in the snow – that’s pretty helpful for me!”

She says she seldom wears a coat during the winter, so she chose a “Donor for Life – 400 LTD” embroidered vest to celebrate her milestone instead of a jacket.

Giving blood has been a life-long commitment, but she remembers it also as a little oasis of relaxation during her busy life as a farm wife and school teacher.

“I do this because I want to,” she says. “For a long time it was also two hours of sitting down and people caring for you, instead of me always caring for my students!”

Over the years she encouraged students to support their high school blood drives because it was a chance to care for others.

“If you can teach them early, it makes a difference,” she said. “I would tell them it’s something to give that doesn’t have to be money. If you can give of yourself, it’s a big thing for your future.”

Ann Wolf 400 LTD