SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Springfield donor Maxine Shroyer has worn many Community Blood Center t-shirts over her decades as a “Donor for Life.” Each reminds her of a past donation that probably helped save a life. Now a blanket stitched from 30 of her t-shirts serves as a powerful message about the gift of life.
Maxine is a familiar face at the CBC Springfield Donor Center. She routinely donated whole blood on her way home from work during her 30-year career as a civilian employee at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. She continued to donate in retirement, and now donates even more frequently after becoming a platelet donor a year ago.
She talked about her t-shirt blanket while giving platelets for her 147th lifetime blood donation Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Springfield Donor Center.
“My cousin makes blankets,” she said. “I gave her 30 t-shirts. I figured I can’t wear them all the time. A Superman t-shirt is in the middle because my son passed away this year and that was his symbol.”
Maxine’s son Michael was just 43 when he died after a sudden illness leaving behind a wife and two children. “He always wore a Superman t-shirt,” she said. “I wanted it in the center to show you can give blood and you can still honor someone.”
“It turned out to be a nice blanket,” she said. “I like all the colors and styles and sayings.”
The Springfield Donor Center opened in 1971 and Maxine was one of its early donors. “I always gave blood, but it was evening appointments,” she said. “I would leave the base and rush over. That was at the old building.”
“I remember in 1978 when we had the blizzard,” she said. “They needed blood and were calling around. I remember getting a call saying ‘Can you help us?’ and I said, ‘Yea but I can’t get out.’ They even sent a volunteer who had an SUV to get me because I was snowed in.”
The Springfield Donor Center moved to its current Limestone St. location on Nov. 15, 1997 and in the 19 years since Maxine has remained a loyal donor.
In her 30 years at WPAFB she served as an executive administrative assistant to generals and moved up to protocol specialist working on special events for the Air Force. She retired two years ago.
“I always worked weird, long hours and I could never get in here to give platelets,” she said. “They told me we really need platelets. They tested and I had a high platelet count.” She now donates about once a month. “Platelets take more time,” she said, “but it’s time worthwhile.”
“I like getting a phone call saying where my donation has gone,” she said. “That’s really nice to know.”
Maxine and her husband Dan have been married 48 years. They had five sons. They lost one as a baby, and now the recent loss of their son Michael.
“We just had our tenth grandchild,” she said. “It’s my youngest son Marty’s child. She’s three months old and they named her Allison Michael for my son Michael who passed away.”
She finds inspiration in helping others through donating, and her t-shirt blanket provides a different kind of warmth.
“Looking at it gives you a sense of pride for all the years donating and having it go to help someone,” she said. “It feels like you’re doing something good. That’s why I keep coming in. it makes you feel good.”