Beavercreek donor Robyn Essman likes to do things by the numbers. It comes natural for a retired budget director for Columbus and Dayton Public Schools. It was by the numbers that she made her routine platelet appointment for Sept. 25 at the Dayton Community Blood Center and completed her milestone 375th lifetime donation.
By the numbers, Robyn ranks fourth in lifetime donation among women donors at CBC.
Robyn’s inspiration to be a “Donor for Life” came from her father, a Dayton firefighter. “I was probably 19,” she said. “I started donating when my dad had a heart attack. He couldn’t donate anymore, and he said, ‘If I can’t donate I have to have someone to take my place.’ That’s when I started.”
She’s been a loyal platelet donor since 1998. “When I started donating platelets, we were upstairs, on the old machines with two arms,” she said, recalling when apheresis was on a separate floor at the Dayton CBC, and used early technology for donating platelets and plasma with needle and tubing in each arm.
Robyn and her husband Norm have been married 40 years. Her professional career includes working for the Dayton Public Library, 16 years with Dayton Public Schools and the last eight years with Columbus Public Schools.
Her donations are by the numbers, twice a month for the maximum 24 platelet donations a year. She reached her milestone with her 16th donation of 2018.
“I used to come on Thursdays,” she said. “When I took the job in Columbus I came on Saturdays, and I still come every other Saturday. When I have too many they bump me off the schedule!”
She’s proud of her nephew, a junior at Chaminade-Julienne High School, for wanting to donate. “He’ll donate in the spring, after football season,” she said.
“I always tell him, for me it’s a good deed you can do that doesn’t cost you anything – and it’s healthy! It’s just a good deed.”
By the numbers, she will likely reach 400 lifetime donations in one year. Only about 19 CBC donors – male and female – have reached that milestone. That adds up to many good deeds.