Larry Lapuh 500 LTD

DAYTON, Ohio – Fairborn donor and retired U.S. Air Force Captain Larry Lapuh has logged many miles as a marathon runner and a Donor for Life.  Giving blood to help save lives has become such an established routine that he jogged through the July 6 celebration of his 500th lifetime blood donation and left feeling apologetic.  He wished he had shown more excitement about his milestone.

The Dayton Community Blood Center staff celebrated Larry with pats on the back, helium balloons, and a table of cupcakes arranged in the number “500.”  He took home some cupcakes but left behind the balloons.

“I felt good,” explained Larry. “It was good for me. It’s consistency, that’s all.  Just keep doing it.  But it’s like when people ask me about donating so much and I jokingly tell them, ‘This is my social event of the week.’”

Larry has a 25-year history with CBC and everyone that knows him has come to appreciate his tranquil demeanor and dry sense of humor.  “They all put up with me!” he said.

Larry began donating in his hometown of Granville, Illinois and continued in the military. His history with CBC began with a phone call.  He had volunteered to be a bone marrow donor in 1992, the same year he retired from the Air Force.  CBC contacted him in 1994 to ask if he would become one of the first donors in CBC’s fledgling bone marrow program.

After a six-month recovery period from his bone marrow donation he became a blood donor with CBC. Soon he was donating platelets and plasma.  He kept increasing his pace until he was averaging 20 or more donations a year. He reached his milestone 400th donation in 2013 and said, “It’s the right thing to do, so you do it.”

Larry has a similar passion for running. He has run 19 marathons, including the Air Force Marathon, hosted by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he worked in supply and budgeting from his arrival there in 1985 to retirement.

His marathoner mentality shows both in the way his exercise routine keeps him lean and fit and in his dedication to twice-a-month apheresis donations.

Larry is a long distance runner in every sense.  He keeps a steady pace, stays the course, and keeps driving toward the finish line of every new challenge.

The last marathon Larry ran was in 2008. “I’d still like to do another one,” he said, “but each year gets worse! I did 13 miles on Saturday and it made me realize how hard it is.”

He faces challenges to maintaining his marathon pace of platelet donations, but he never claims that the giving is hard to do. He just makes it look calm and easy.

Larry Lapuh 500 with CBC staff


Beth Player 100 LTD

Fairborn donor Beth Player is a “Johnny Appleseed” of blood donations.  Her blood type is O negative and she was inspired to become a donor by her father, also a “Universal Donor.”  Beth and her husband Dave have traveled the country during his U.S. Air Force career, donating together in various states.  She made her milestone 100th lifetime donation with Community Blood Center on June 29 at the Dayton Donor Center.

“I started donating in Wilmington, Delaware,” said Beth. “My father was a donor and I decided I would do this.  Every time we moved we found another place to donate.”

“My dad is an O negative,” she said. “He would always say, ‘They need, they need, they need.’  It’s a short time out of the day. It’s an easy donation.”

Beth is both an O negative donor, the universal donor for all patients in need, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.”  CMC negative means he has not been exposed to the common cytomegalovirus.  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

“We moved here in 1978,” she said. “I was probably around 79 or 80 donations.  I found out when I came here I’m CMV-negative.  I would know if needed it was going to a baby or a child.”

Beth worked most recently as a health department educator. She and Dave are now both retired. They have two children and 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 13 to two.

They donate together at mobile blood drives in the Fairborn area and at the Dayton CBC.  Dave, an O positive donor, made his 124th lifetime donation with CBC when Beth made her 100th.  Their “Johnny Appleseed” journey of helping others continues.


Mark Reitz 400 LTD

Kettering donor Mark Reitz is a retired Wright Patterson Air Force Base propulsion engineer who enjoys woodworking, bicycling, babysitting his grandchildren, and being a dedicated “Donor for Life.” With his regular appointment to give platelets on Friday, July 7 at the Dayton CBC Mark celebrated his milestone 400th lifetime blood donation.

It was Mark’s style to reach his milestone by making sure to keep his appointment despite the distractions of the July 4th holiday week.  CBC staff members thanked Mark and helped him celebrate his milestone with a party in the Donor Café featuring cupcakes forming the number “400.”

Mark started donating whole blood in 1981 when the CBC Bloodmobile would visit Wright Patt.

He began donating platelets in 2000, but continued to also alternate with whole blood donations.  He has been donating platelets and plasma exclusively since 2013 and reached his milestone 300th LTD milestone in early 2014.  He said at the time, “I retired after 36 years as a civilian engineer working in the Propulsion Lab. I have more time to donate, so now I try to come down once a week.”

Mark has continued to keep his dedicated pace as a Donor for Life, and now that has brought him to his 400 donation milestone. “Once a week might cause dedicated donors to ask how he does that,” he said, “but it does average out to coming down once in every two weeks or less, about 30 times a year.”

Mark believes in giving back to the community, especially in times of need.  He made three trips to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina with a busload of volunteers from several Lutheran church groups to help rebuilt homes. His final trip was with Habitat for Humanity.

“Since retiring, I have been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Dayton with a group called the “Golden Hammers” for the past three years,” he said.  “We do volunteer work every Wednesday for them.”

Mark Reitz 400 staff