HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio – A blood bond runs deep between Tina Daniel and her sister Lisa Ritchey. They stood by each other as their husbands received blood transfusions during critical illnesses. They’ve donated blood together, in support of Lisa’s husband Nadim and in memory of Tina’s husband Ed. On Aug. 4 they celebrated together the success of the sixth annual Ed Daniel Memorial Blood Drive.
Tina was the first to donate Saturday morning at St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church. Lisa drove from her home in Zanesville to Huber Heights. The blood drive totaled 35 donors, including 30 donations and seven first-time donors for 111 percent of collection goal.
“Who would have thought both of us would have husbands who needed blood?” said Lisa. “You don’t realize it until you’re in need. You don’t realize it how many people have been affected by your donation until you start talking about it.”
Ed Daniel was known as “The Donut King” when he and Tina operated Daniel Donuts stores in Huber Heights and Fairborn. He received many blood product transfusions during his five-year battle with mantle cell lymphoma. Before his death in 2013 it was his wish to organize a blood drive as a way to give back. Tina and her daughters sponsored the first Ed Daniel Memorial Blood Drive in August of 2013.
Lisa’s husband Nadim suffered from an enlarged heart. The left side of his heart became too weak to function and he needed blood during surgery to install a ventricular pump. He had been on a waiting list for only four months when he received a heart transplant in December of 2016.
“People who have donated have helped Tina’s family and my family because of my husband,” said Lisa. “You never realize how important it is until you need it,” said Tina.
The sisters smiled through their tears as they remembered Ed for his sense of humor and his love of the Cincinnati Reds. Lisa, Tina and her daughter Ashley all wore the blood drive t-shirt they made with Ed’s name and the Reds logo. On display was a poster board with photos of friends donating over the years.
“I try to give back and this is a way I can. Every little bit helps,” said Jennifer Passaro, a friend of Tina’s at Southview Hospital. Tina began working there after Ed’s death. She delivers meals to patients, and offers free books from a special cart named for Ed.
“She does so much for others at the hospital,” said Jennifer. “She goes above and beyond for the patients.”
The final donor of the day was USPS mail carrier Matt Crumley, who called Tina to let her know he was on his way. Matt grew up with Tina’s daughter Ashley and has donated at every Ed Daniel Memorial Blood Drive.
“There was no way I was going to miss this,” said Matt, who got permission from his supervisor to take a break from his Saturday morning route to donate. “I would have felt terrible if I couldn’t make it. It’s close to my heart to be here for it.”