SPRINGBORO, Ohio – Covenant Presbyterian Church teamed up with the family of three-year-old Hudson Marshall to help boost the holiday blood supply and raise awareness about childhood cancer with the third annual “Hudson Hero” blood drive.
Hudson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, the most common and often fatal infant cancer, two weeks before Christmas in 2013. Hudson’s mother Andrea is a teacher at Springboro Junior High School. Hudson was receiving intense treatment when the family partnered with Covenant Presbyterian on the first Community Blood Center “Baby Hudson Blood Drive” in 2014.
Since then he has made remarkable progress and his check-ups show he is now cancer free. The blood drive in his honor Tuesday, Dec. 27 was supported by 61 donors, resulting in 48 blood donations.
“A big part of helping him win his battle came from those we don’t even know – blood donors,” said Hudson’s dad Steve Marshall. “Those that give may not see the positive impact on those who receive the blood, but it truly is a lifesaver.”
Kristen Dintaman, a childhood friend of Steve Marshall, again served as coordinator of the Hudson Hero blood drive. Her husband is Sinclair Community College baseball coach Steve Dintaman and they are expecting their first child in January. “I may not have much energy, but I wanted to help,” she said. “Steve and I go all the way back to pre-school.”
The Marshalls continue to raise awareness about the need for blood donations to help cancer patients. Steve is the leader of the Dayton Lemon Society, part of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s national network of young professionals supporting the fight against childhood cancer.
Strong support for the blood drive came from the regular donors at Covenant Presbyterian. “I remember the first Baby Hudson blood drive,” said Jim Lehman as he made his 126th lifetime donation. “My goal originally was to get to 10, then 15. Now it’s a pint at a time as long as I can.”
“Why wouldn’t people want to give blood?” said Rod Bradshaw after making his milestone 80th donation, the equivalent of 10 gallons. “It’s not manufactured, so it’s either this… or nothing.”
This year’s goal was to also help increase support for the Covenant Presbyterian blood drive during the busy holiday week. “With everybody traveling for Christmas, it’s tough,” said Steve Marshall as he made his 13th lifetime donation Tuesday. “But everybody is in a giving mood and always asking, ‘What can I do?’ It’s a great way to give back.”