Blood donor Judy LaMusga with Living Dayton co-hosts Nathalie Basha & Zuri Hall
“Living Dayton” on WDTN-TV is “a lifestyle show about Dayton, for Dayton.” But as blood donor Judy LaMusga learned during her appearance as a guest chef Monday, April 23, it’s also a three-ring circus and high-wire act with no net, and no looking down.
“The camera guy would just point to me, and I knew I was on,” said Judy. “I figured it out!” No problem for a 359 lifetime apheresis donor, and the author of the “Sausage Soup” recipe in the new “I Did it for the Cookie” Cookbook.
Living Dayton co-hosts Nathalie Basha and Zuri Hall invited Community Blood Center (CBC) to be a guest on the April 23 show to talk about the cookbook and to demonstrate a recipe. Marketing Manager Sher Patrick talked about she developed the idea with CBC Customer Relations Supervisor Jennifer Ratay. Many organizations develop cookbooks to sell as fundraisers. The CBC concept was to have donors, volunteers, staff and other CBC supporters contribute the recipes to a cookbook that would be given away as a gift to donors (April 16 – May 12).
Public Relations specialist Mark Pompilio talked about the spirit of giving behind the cookbook and the link between donors sharing the gift of life, and sharing a table. Cookies and juice have long been a blood drive tradition to help donors replenish their bodies. But volunteers often home cook moveable feasts for mobile blood drives to give special thanks to donors, and to share in the communal act of giving.
But before Zuri and Nathalie turned their attention to Judy, there was other work to do. The Moraine Fire Department was on hand to monitor the gas burners – in the studio – as glass blower Darren Goodman put on a live display. The coach was filled with moms and kids from the Brighter Futures organization, and fitness gurus from Crossfit: Infinity Fitness showed the hosts
All this went on with very few traffic cops showing the way. The guests moved around the studio and, like Judy, caught on to where they should be and when they should start talking.
Nathalie and Zuri donned aprons to join Judy in the studio kitchen, and Judy quickly walked them through her Sausage Soup recipe. When the water faucet didn’t want to flow, Judy quickly pantomimed how she would fill her empty diced tomato can with water to add more fluid to the soup.
Judy had a finished bowl of hot soup ready, and the co-hosts praised her work between spoonfuls. Then Judy went from guest chef to blood donor champion, answering questions about apheresis donations. She wowed them with her honesty about how yes, the initial needle insertion can hurt, but after that she settles into a comfortable donation. It was also a chance to agree that “I did it for the cookie” is just an inside joke among donors. She talked about how her reward comes in knowing that her platelet donations often go to cancer patients.
The hour of Living Dayton went quickly. Time flies when you are not just walking the tightrope, but dancing across it to the aroma of Sausage Soup, the hustle bustle of a lively Dayton lifestyle show, and sharing the word with viewers about the gift of life.

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