Community Blood Center has lost a member of the blood donor family with the passing of Englewood’s Kristina Knapp Bradley. She was a young mother dedicated to helping others as a community volunteer, a faithful blood donor, and as the blood drive coordinator for the family Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln, Inc. dealership in Greenville.
Kristina died Feb. 18 at the age of 32. It’s a tragic loss for her husband Vinny, daughter Makayla, parents Dave and Karen Knapp, and all their family, friends and community.
Kristina made her first blood donation in 2002 as a senior at Northmont High School. She became the marketing director at Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln, Inc. and was soon coordinating Saturday morning community blood drives in the dealership showroom.
The Knapp family dealership has been hosting community blood drives since 2007, averaging at least two blood drives per year. In 2012 Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln partnered with CBC to serve as sponsor for the 2012 “iFocus on Saving Lives” summer blood drive campaign with the grand prize of a new Ford Focus.
Dave and Kirsten decided to launch the campaign with a blood drive at the dealership on May 30, 2012, and Dave made his first lifetime donation. “I’ve got to lead by example,” he said. “I’ve helped in many other ways, but this is the first time with the God-given resource that is so needed.”
Kristina was his inspiration. Many learned about the blood drive that day because of a special call for type O donors. Kristina was among those who answered the call.
“I’ve always tried to talk him into it,” she said as she made her 15th lifetime donation. “He didn’t argue, not this time!”
She continued to donate regularly at the dealership blood drives. Her final blood donation came Nov. 11, 2016 at the Northmont Community blood drive. Her donations were truly life-saving gifts because Kristina was both a “Universal Donor” and a “Baby Donor.”
Her blood type was O negative, which any patient in need can receive. She was also a CMV-negative donor, meaning she had never been exposed to the common cytomegalovirus. Hospitals prefer to use CMV-negative blood for units designated for children and to ensure the safety of blood transfusions to newborns.
She was dedicated to giving back to the community, with a special focus on helping children. She served as the 2016 chairperson for the Darke County March of Dimes, taught dance at All About Dance and was a former cheerleading coach for Northmont Pee Wee football.
CBC remembers Kristina Knapp Bradley as an honored “Donor for Life.”