PIQUA WINS RECORD-SETTING RIVAL BLOOD DRIVE CHALLENGE

Troy-Piqua Challenge AwardMIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – It was pride, passion, and a Piqua victory as the Indians were announced winners of the 20th annual Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive before the Friday, Oct. 27 football game at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Both rivals will now face a stiff “Challenge” next year trying to repeat the record-setting success of 2017.

Donor support was the highest in the 20-year history of this cross-county rival blood drive. Overall, 419 students and community members “voted” by registering to donate at the high school blood drives on Oct. 24 and the US Bank community blood drives on Oct. 26.  There were 155 first-time donors and 356 pints of blood donated.  Each new benchmark was the highest in the history of the Troy-Piqua Challenge.

Defending champion Piqua held a “touchdown” lead of seven votes, 115-108, following the high school blood drives on Tuesday. The community blood drives at the US Bank branches in Troy and Piqua battled to a tie with an equal number of donor votes, giving Piqua the victory by a 213-201 margin.

US BANK PIQUA BLOOD DRIVE

US Bank Piqua Manager Emily Shawler is a proud Piqua alumnus and she was determined to hold tight to the Challenge trophy on display in the bank.

Her team wore matching “Troy vs. Piqua” sweatshirts with their name on the front and their teller number on the back.  “We have some who are from Troy, but they’re all on the Piqua team now!” said Emily.

Destine Wale, a 2013 Piqua graduate, made her first lifetime donation. “My mother has multiple sclerosis,” she said of her motivation to become a donor. “That has opened my eyes to it a lot. I see how this helps so much.”

Bretnie Collum is a young mom who started donating at Piqua High and was a CBC “Red Cord” graduate in 2012. “Every time I donate I get a phone call saying where my blood was used,” she said. “If my daughter was in that same position it would be nice to know someone helped her.”

US BANK TROY BLOOD DRIVE

Troy High students Hannah Setser and Evelyn Plunkett couldn’t donate Tuesday, but came to the US Bank Troy community blood drive Thursday hoping to rally the Trojans from a seven-vote deficit. “I had a field trip that day,” said Evelyn. “I really wanted to go to the blood drive, and my teacher told me about this.”

Alicia Love is a Piqua grad with a daughter at Troy High who told her, “Mom, you’re a Trojan now.”  But it was her father’s battle against cancer that motivated Alicia to try to donate for the first time.

“My dad was sick in January and almost died,” she said. “He had to have three blood transfusions. He was at The James (Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center) for a week and is still going through treatment. This is perfect.”

US Bank Troy Manager Deborah Wildermuth was a Challenge winner when she managed the Piqua US Bank branch, and has helped Troy win three of the last five Challenges.  On Thursday, she boarded the Bloodmobile, rolled up her sleeve, and helped the cause again.

“I do this every year because I believe in it,” said Deborah. “I have a passion for helping people.”

PIQUA-TROY HIGH BLOOD DRIVES

The Piqua Indians grabbed the lead in the 20th annual Troy-Piqua Challenge with 115 registrations to donate for 115 votes.  That total included 63 first-time donors and 92 donations.

The Troy Trojans put on a full court press Tuesday in the school gym blood drive.  They totaled 108 registrations but trailed Piqua by seven votes. Their effort included 47 first-time donors and 87 donations.

“I think we had extra energy this year,” said Interact Club president Darby Bubp, who made her fourth lifetime donation Tuesday. “In our senior class a lot of people are pushing for success a little harder. I think that trickles down to the other classes as well.”

“I enjoy it,” said senior Cameron Woods, who voted for Piqua with his fourth lifetime donation. “I think a lot of people like the competitive part.  I always like to help the community.  That’s more what I like to do. I like helping people.”

Piqua will keep the Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive trophy for another year, and will enjoy the US Bank $1,000 award.  Piqua continues to lead the Challenge series with a 15-4-1 record.

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PASSION, PRIDE CONTINUE TO SHINE AT TROY-PIQUA CHALLENGE BLOOD DRIVE

Alicia Love

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – The winner of the 2017 Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge will be announced before tonight’s football game.  No matter who wins, the rivals will face a pretty tough “Challenge” next year.  That’s because it will be hard to top the record-setting success of the 20th anniversary blood drive.

Donor support was the highest in the 20-year history of this cross-county rival blood drive. Overall, 419 students and community members “voted” by registering to donate at the high school blood drives on Oct. 24 and the US Bank community blood drives on Oct. 26.  There were 155 first-time donors and 356 pints of blood donated.  Each new benchmark was the highest in the history of the Troy-Piqua Challenge.

US Bank Piqua team

US BANK PIQUA BLOOD DRIVE

Piqua is the defending Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive champion, and US Bank Piqua Manager Emily Shawler is a proud Piqua alumnus.  She went into Thursday’s community blood drive determined to hold tight to the Challenge trophy on display in the bank.

Her team wore matching “Troy vs. Piqua” sweatshirts with their name on the front and their teller number on the back.  “We have some who are from Troy, but they’re all on the Piqua team now!” said Emily.

Team member Emily Adams convinced her sister-in-law Jeannie Adams to vote for Piqua. “She talked me into it because she works here, so I’m a bonus for you!” said Jeannie, whose son plays on the freshman football team at Troy. “I’m still doing a good thing!”

Paula Kuhn has a son that plays for Piqua. She was one of the 29 first-time donors at the Piqua community blood drive.  Doug Stengel is a long-time Piqua fan and wore his 2006 Piqua High State Division II Championship sweatshirt as he donated.

Destine Wale is a 2013 Piqua graduate who brought along her three-year old daughter Arianna as she made her first lifetime donation. “My mother has multiple sclerosis,” she said of her motivation to become a donor. “That has opened my eyes to it a lot. I see how this helps so much.”

Bretnie Collum is a young mom who started donating at Piqua High and was a CBC “Red Cord” graduate in 2012. “Every time I donate I get a phone call saying where my blood was used,” she said. “If my daughter was in that same position it would be nice to know someone helped her.”

US Bank Troy - Deborah Wildermuth

US BANK TROY BLOOD DRIVE

Troy fans went into the Thursday community blood drive at US Bank Troy “trailing by a touchdown” in the 2017 Troy-Piqua Challenge because of Piqua’s seven-vote lead after the Tuesday high school blood drives.  Troy High students Hannah Setser and Evelyn Plunkett couldn’t donate Tuesday, but rallied for the Trojans by donating at the US Bank.

“I had a field trip that day,” said Evelyn. “I really wanted to go to the blood drive, and my teacher told me about this.”

Kim Bundy is a 1981 Troy High alumnus who keeps the Troy-Piqua Challenge on her calendar. “You’ve got to do the Troy vote if you are a Trojan,” she said, “and I am a Trojan!”

Alicia Love is a Piqua grad with a daughter at Troy. “She said, ‘Mom, you’re a Trojan now,” said Alicia. But it was her father’s battle against cancer that motivated Alicia to try to donate for the first time.

“My dad was sick in January and almost died,” she said. “He had to have three blood transfusions. He was at The James (Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center) for a week and is still going through treatment. This is perfect.”

US Bank Troy Manager Deborah Wildermuth was a Challenge winner when she managed the Piqua US Bank branch, and has helped Troy win three of the last five Challenges.  On Thursday, she boarded the Bloodmobile, rolled up sleeve, and helped the cause again.

“I do this every year because I believe in it,” said Deborah. “I have a passion for helping people.”

Doug Stengel

PIQUA HIGH TAKES EARLY ‘TOUCHDOWN’ LEAD OVER RIVAL TROY IN CHALLENGE BLOOD DRIVE

Piqua High Interact volunteers

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – Scoring votes by filling donor beds in the Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive is an elaborate game of musical chairs. The music started when both high schools hosted campus blood drives Tuesday, Oct. 24 to launch the 20th annual Challenge. At the end of the day Piqua held a “touchdown lead” of seven votes.

Every student, faculty and staff member who registered to donate at Tuesday’s blood drives represented a “vote” for either Troy or Piqua.  Blood drive coordinators and student volunteers scrambled to fill every open appointment and donor bed to avoid losing any votes to their rival.

It will be the same game of musical donor beds on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 12 noon to six p.m. at the US Bank blood drives in Troy and Piqua.  US Bank managers Emily Shawler in Piqua and Deborah Wildermuth in Troy will hurry to fill the donor beds before the music stops and the Challenge ends.

The town that totals the most votes will claim the Challenge. US Bank will award a $1,000 prize to the winning school Friday night before the coin toss at the 113rd renewal of the Troy-Piqua football rivalry in Troy Memorial Stadium.

PIQUA HIGH BLOOD DRIVE – 115 VOTES

The Piqua Indians grabbed the lead in the 20th annual Troy-Piqua Challenge with 115 registrations to donate for 115 votes.  That total included 63 first-time donors and 92 donations.

“We had all of our slots filled, plus eight people on a waiting list,” said April Watson, Piqua blood drive coordinator and advisor for the student sponsor Interact Club.

“We always fill up our list every year but I think we had extra energy this year,” said Interact Club president Darby Bubp, a senior who made her fourth lifetime donation Tuesday.

“In our senior class a lot of people are pushing for success a little harder,” said Darby. “I think that trickles down to the other classes as well.”

“I enjoy it,” said senior Cameron Woods, who voted for Piqua with his fourth lifetime donation. “I think a lot of people like the competitive part.  I always like to help the community.  That’s more what I like to do. I like helping people.”

TROY HIGH BLOOD DRIVE – 108 VOTES

The Troy Trojans put on a full court press in the school gym to fill as many donor beds as possible Thursday.  They totaled 108 registrations but trail Piqua by seven votes. Their effort included 47 first-time donors and 87 donations.

“Usually we’re all full,” said volunteer Molly Sanders, a member of the ASTRA Club student sponsor group for Troy’s blood drives. “We have a lot of students who didn’t want to miss class or a spot was filled up, who plan on going to the community blood drive as well.”

The Troy community blood drive Thursday at the US Bank will welcome student donors to help stage a come-from-behind victory.  “We’re definitely going to encourage students to go the US Bank,” said blood drive coordinator and ASTRA advisor Angie Anderson.

“I’m in the broadcast class and we’ve been talking about it all week,” said Jake Darby as he made his fourth lifetime donation Tuesday. “We made a donation video for their Facebook page.”

Senior Jessica Sutherly made her fifth lifetime donation and junior Jenna Rice made her first. “I’m just now at the eligible age,” said Jenna.  They’re part of the team effort it will take to overtake rival Troy to win the 20th Troy-Piqua Challenge, bragging rights, and a $1,000 award for their school.

Troy-Piqua Challenge banner

MILESTONE DONOR MICHAEL NATALE HAS A GREAT BIG HEART FOR HIS GREAT PYRENEES

Michael Natale - 100 LTD

Carlisle donor Michael Natale pays due homage to his Italian heritage.  After all, his name means “Christmas” in the old country.  He’s very modest about the milestone of 100 lifetime blood donations he reached Oct. 20 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.  But if you want to get Michael really talking, ask him about his Great Pyrenees.

The breed is known as livestock guardian dogs, used for hundreds of years by Basque shepherds in France and Spain.  Their coat is thick and white and the males can weigh up to 130 pounds.  Michael and his wife Brenda are long-time owners who rescue abandoned Great Pyrenees, foster them until adoption or raise them.

They had three of the colossal canines roaming their home and yard until their favorite “Bandit” passed away from cancer.  Bandit’s illness and Michael’s own shoulder surgery diverted him from his usual platelet and plasma donations during the summer months.  But he reached his milestone with his ninth apheresis donation of 2017.

Michael actually has more than 100 in his donation history. He quit college to serve in the Army for three years and said, “I used to donate on base when I was stationed in Italy.”

Michael’s dad served in the Army Airborne and his mother is from Japan. They met and were married when his father was stationed there after World War II and that’s where Michael was born.

Michael went back to Wright State University to study physics after three years in the military and then did graduate research in solar energy at the Mound Laboratories nuclear weapon research facility in Miamisburg.

“I actually started donating (with CBC) when I was at the Mound for 10 years. I’ve given on and off since then,” he said.  He switched his interest to computers and has been working in IT at LexisNexis for 19 years.

He was a regular whole blood donor at the LexisNexis blood drives until becoming an apheresis donor in 2014 and donating the Dayton Donor Center. CBC nominated LexisNexis for the 2012 America’s Blood Center Awards of Excellence and it was named “Most Productive Blood Drive” for its support to CBC in blood drives and volunteer hours.

The company continues to allow donors like Michael to use “LexisNexis Cares” days to take time from work to donate.

Michael and Brenda have been married 39 years and have a son Jeremy.  Michael had birthday party plans for the next day after his milestone to celebrate their granddaughter Molly’s first birthday.

Michael considers Molly’s celebration far bigger than his 100th donation achievement, but the milestone did give him a new goal. “I’m hoping to be around long enough to do another 100!” he said.

Great Pyrenees

ST. MICHAEL’S HALL DONORS JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER WITH FALL BLOOD DRIVE

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

THE UNCOMMON JOY OF ‘LIGHT THE NIGHT’

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.”

100TH DONATION A FINAL STOP FOR RTA MANAGER HANK TRIMBLE AS HE CRUISES TOWARD RETIREMENT

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.