A BIG INSPIRATION DRIVES ENGLEWOOD’S JUDY BERRY TO 100TH DONATION MILESTONE

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Englewood donor Judy Berry says “My house is very busy!” thanks to her three small dogs with distinct personalities.  She’s a dedicated dog owner, and an even more dedicated “Donor for Life,” which she proved by working through adversity to achieve her milestone 100th lifetime blood donation Feb. 13 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

As she drew tantalizing close to her milestone she faced a few stumbling blocks. “I’ve been turned down three times before because of low iron,” Judy said, “But I knew I was going to make it this time.”

Judy breezed through screening and her milestone donation, and tried out sizes for her “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket.

“It’s great!” she said. “Maybe I took a little longer than I should have because I slipped up a little in my donating. But it’s great.”

Over the years Judy has been a regular whole blood donor, supporting mobile blood drives at Shiloh United Church of Christ and Beth Jacob Synagogue, and donating often at the Dayton Donor Center.

She re-dedicated herself to donating more often after supporting the 2015 Bill Davenport Memorial Blood Drive in Englewood.  She made six donations in 2016 and reached her 100th donation milestone with her first donation of 2017.

Judy retired from Dayton Power & Light then continued to do office work for area nursing homes. She was busy with her Boston Terrier-poodle mix “Quincy” and her mini-Schnauzer “Stella” when “Katie,” a Boston Terrier, joined the household.

“I had two little dogs, then a friend passed away and I took her dog,” she said.

Judy is quick to connect the dots from her first donation to her 100th.   “I started after I received a transfusion during surgery back in 1980,” she said. “When the opportunity came to donate, I did so. That’s a pretty big inspiration!”

RIVALS WEST CARROLLTON & MIAMISBURG UNITE TO HELP ‘BECAUSE OF GOD’S GRACE’ MINISTRIES

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WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio – It wasn’t only basketball that got fans on their feet during the Feb. 7 meeting of rivals West Carrollton and Miamisburg High Schools at WCHS. The rivals came together to help others with the presentation of a $1,000 “Unity in the Community” award to Bogg (“Because of God’s Grace”) Ministries.

Unity Campaign sponsor Universal 1 Credit Union awarded $500 to each school for hosting a Community Blood Center “Unity in the Community” blood drive in the fall.  The schools traditionally combine the awards and alternate choosing a charitable organization as the recipient.  As host of the game, West Carrollton chose Bogg Ministries to receive the $1,000 award.

Bogg is a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, and other essentials to people in Miamisburg and the greater Dayton area.  Bogg began in 2010 and has gone from feeding four families a week to more than 1,500 people a month. Learn more at www.thebogg.org.

“It’s a new organization for us that we weren’t familiar with until some Student Council members brought it up,” said Student Council advisor and blood drive coordinator P.J. Babb. “They’re serving West Carrollton and the Dayton area so it fits.  It benefits both.”

BOGG Ministries volunteer Calvin Moran accepted the award from Universal 1 Credit Union’s Mary Cook; CBC’s Donna Teuscher; West Carrollton Student Council President Shea Shelton, Junior Class Secretary-Treasurer Shelby Wolf, advisor PJ Babb; Miamisburg High School Principal Craig Morris, Student Body President Ryan Slaughenhaupt, and Senior Class Governor Kaylee Elkins.

 

Miamisburg hosted a Unity blood drive on Nov. 18, 2016 followed by the West Carrollton Unity blood drive on Dec. 2, 2016. The combined West Carrollton and Miamisburg Unity blood drives resulted in 245 donor registrations, 183 first-time donors, and 195 blood donations.

REX STRINE’S ‘DONOR FOR LIFE’ JOURNEY BEGAN AT SON’S BIRTH

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Kettering donor Rex Strine became a “Donor for Life” the day his son was born and needed blood.  On Friday, Jan. 27 he celebrated a lifelong journey as a blood donor with his milestone 100th lifetime donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

“I started because I was asked when my son was born and he needed blood,” Rex said. “He was fine. But as a newborn he needed blood, and it was a time when they would ask, can you replace it. He’ll be 55 and I’ll be 85 so that was many years ago!”

Rex and his wife Carol will be married 64 years in February. They raised three children and now have six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Rex spent 36 years with GM (including the former Delco-Moraine) working in sales and later purchasing.  He retired 25 years ago, but jumped back into the auto industry working with an associate until 2008.  He always managed to reserve time for his growing family, regular vacation trips to Florida, and donating.

Over the years he donated often at the Central Christian Church in Kettering and the Dayton Donor Center. He said he became an apheresis donor when the procedure was relatively new, but his donation schedule was interrupted when he went through treatment for prostate cancer.

He went back to donating platelets and plasma exclusively in 2012.  He made nine donations in 2016 and his milestone 100th donation was his first of 2017.

“I figured I would do it for before heading to Florida for a month,” he said.  “We go to the Panhandle, what they call ‘the Redneck Riviera’ near Destin!”

Rex relies on the familiar apheresis schedulers at CBC to remind him when it’s time to donate. “I react when they call me,” he said. “They’ll say ‘Can you come in?’ I always say, ‘When you need me – I’m here!’’

 

DAVID BRANDENBURG DESERVES A PAT ON THE BACK AFTER HIS MILESTONE 200TH LIFETIME BLOOD DONATION

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Beavercreek’s David Brandenburg is a “Donor for Life” and an enthusiastic cheerleader for his fellow members of the blood donation community.  It’s now David’s turn for congratulations after making his milestone 200th lifetime donation Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

“I know it helps a lot of people,” David said. “I like to congratulate everybody I see on the Community Blood Center Facebook page for what they’ve done. If I can get someone to donate, the more people that donate, the less others have to.  It’s needed because they can’t make blood yet!”

David said he began donating whole blood in the late 70’s or early 80’s while working at the former Dayton Walther Corporation truck component plant. “A co-worker had cancer in their family and needed some help,” he said. “A bunch of us from work went down to donate.”

That soon led to regular CBC blood drives at Dayton Walther.  “We got the mobile unit to come over and I kind of kept it up after that, donating whole blood.”

David began donating platelets and plasma in 2010 and soon reached his 100th donation milestone.  He tries to donate every two weeks, a pace that quickly brought him to his 200th donation milestone. He made 21 donations in 2016 and reached his 200th with his third donation of 2017.

He left Dayton Walther when it closed in 2001 and worked for the union until retirement in 2005.  He continues to support CBC and blood donations, but that’s not all that keeps him busy.  David and his wife Brenda have been married 45 years and have two daughters and six grandchildren. “They’re a lot of fun!” he said.

TOMORROW ‘JUST A PLUS’ FOR WEST LIBERTY ‘IRON MAN’ SCOTT BOYD

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WEST LIBERTY, Ohio – The outdoor-life, iron-pumping, muscle-car guy deep inside Scott Boyd is working hard to bring back as much as he can of his old self.  Scott entered January National Blood Donor Month five months removed from the summer mowing accident when the bush hog he was using caught him in its teeth and chewed into his side like an angry shark.

Scott has come a long way since Aug. 12, 2016, the day he nearly bled to death in a field behind his West Liberty home. He needed 108 units of donor blood to survive, but his body has long since regenerated its own. He’s had more than a dozen surgeries, but more healing must come before two key surgeries ahead to receive a new hip.

The strength he built from hard work and a weightlifting regimen undoubtedly helped him survive the accident.  These days he dedicates his rehabilitation efforts to the dream of walking again.

When asked if he is regaining his strength his reply was confident. “I think I am,” he said. “I’m walking on a treadmill. I couldn’t tell you what kind of weights I’m doing. I was a 300-pound bencher before this happened.”

Community Blood Center held August and October blood drives in West Liberty dedicated to Scott. The the family named them the “Iron Man Blood Drives” for good reason.  On the day of the accident his heart stopped twice while waiting for CareFlight and twice again in flight to Miami Valley Hospital.  It was not his first experience of cheating 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.  Both arms and wrists were broken and his skull cracked. Years later he dove into a pond to rescue his young daughter and broke his neck.

“When I broke my neck I had to overcome the same kind of things,” he said. “I’ve done it once and I can do it again.  I lost my life twice on the ground and twice in the air… to have any opportunity at all, I’m just happy about that.  Anything else is just a plus.”

The West Liberty community rallied around Scott and his wife Cindee in the weeks and months after the accident, hosting fundraisers and donating blood.  He would attend as many events as he could to thank his neighbors face to face.

“They donated a lot of blood and I used a lot of too,” he said. “The whole town turned out. That’s so much appreciated. I couldn’t say that enough. It’s hard to figure out how to repay that debt. I would never have expected what people stepped out and did.  It just blew my mind with their kindness.”

It was a special holiday season at the Boyd home.  His sons came from California and Florida and daughter Chelsie from college in Columbus.  Scott said nine-year-old son Noah “has been a big help with me.”  Cindee remains his greatest source of strength.

“She’s my guardian angel,” he said.  “I could never dream… I hate that I have to put her through this. This happened to me and she has to take care of me and I hate that for her.  She takes care of me.”

Scott depends on crutches, a walker, and for any distance at all, a wheelchair. “I can’t walk with my legs. My left hip is gone,” he said.  “It looks like a shark bit me.”

“The traumatic blood loss has taken a toll on his short-term memory. “I can remember things from the past,” he said.  “They can tell me something at therapy about my appointment, and by the time I get home I don’t have a clue.  If it’s left up to me, that’s what happens.”

Unchanged is his iron will. He keeps a clear vision for the future, and a deep gratitude for yet another chance on life.

“I went through a lot of blood. I bled out twice. I appreciate it,” he said.

“I’m going to get better. I’m not going to be stopped from that. I’ve beat it before, I’ll beat this.  It’s going to be hard but it’s definitely coming.”

RON TAYLOR’S 100TH DONATION & LIFELINE OF HELPING OTHERS

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Xenia donor Ron Taylor has been helping keep the lights on across the Miami Valley during the nearly half-century he has spent working for DP&L. He credits hard work, rain or shine in the great outdoors for helping him stay healthy and reach his goal of 100 lifetime blood donations at his Monday, Jan. 23 visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center.

“I was in my 20’s,” Ron said about the journey to his milestone donation. “I had just started working for my company when I started donating.  It will be 48 years in July.”

Ron and his wife Sherry celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary in December.  “I got hired on at DP&L in the summer and we got married the week before Christmas,” he said. They have four children, 12 grandchildren, and their first great-grandchild, a little girl, is nine months old.

Ron usually donated at CBC mobile blood drives at DP&L up until the late 90’s before becoming a regular donor at the Dayton CBC Donor Center.  He occasionally donated at the Xenia Masonic Center, Faith Community United Methodist Church, and the DP&L Service Building blood drives.

“Good physical work has helped me,” Ron said about his “Donor for Life’ dedication. “It’s just nice to be able to help somebody.  I know my blood is going to be helping.”

AFTER 200TH DONATION, ROGER WILMOTH KNOWS BOTH ENDS OF THE NEEDLE

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West Carrollton’s Roger Wilmoth is a blood donor who knows what it’s like to be on both ends of the needle.  He’s most familiar with the pointy end: Roger made his milestone 200th lifetime blood donation Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.  But just for balance, he learned about the flip side.

“I took a phlebotomy class for a quarter at Sinclair Community College,” he said. “I wasn’t planning on using it. It was just for my own benefit, to see what it’s like to draw blood after giving it so much.”

The technical part of the course was nothing new, but some of psychology surprised him.  “Probably the part about individuals who are nervous and you try to calm them down,” he said. “I never had any problem with that.”

Roger has been donating problem-free for nearly 50 years.  “I started back in the 70’s, through work at DP&L,” he said.  He spent his entire career at DP&L working in IT and retired in 2008.

Roger’s blood type is O positive, making him a universal donor for anyone with a positive Rh blood type. In 2009 he began helping CBC boost the O positive blood supply with automated double red blood cell donations.

“They asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, ‘Sure – whatever you need,’” he said.  “I tried double reds for a while and then I switched to platelets.”

Roger started donating platelets and plasma in 2015. He made a dozen donations that year, followed by 21 donations in 2016. He reached his 200th donation milestone with his second donation of 2017. “Because they needed it,” is the only reason he needed to keep giving.

Roger and his wife Janet will be married 44 years in February.  They have two sons and nine grandkids.

Ohio’s Lifelong Learning program allows Roger to take classes at Sinclair at no cost. Though he enjoyed his phlebotomy class, he’d rather have a wrench in his hand than a needle. “I enjoy working on cars,” he said, “so I’m taking automotive classes at Sinclair.”