Xenia donor Tami Bower dedicated her first 100 lifetime donations in memory of her father. She began work on the next milestone with her 101st donation Oct. 10 at the Dayton Community Blood Center and the same commitment in her heart.
Tami grew up in Beavercreek and graduated Beavercreek High School in 1980. She first donated at mobile blood drives while working summer jobs at Monarch Marking systems, where her dad Chalmer “Chet” Sidenstick worked for 43 years.
“That’s where I started,” said Tami. “My dad always gave. He was a really neat person. He realized that if you could give to someone that was a great thing to do.”
Tami shared the inspiration with her three daughters who all started donating while at Beavercreek High School. Three generations of the family came to the Dayton CBC for Tami’s 100th donation on Aug. 11, including her 91-year-old mother Bubbles Sidenstick, daughters Nickie Matus, Christie Fowler with son Caleb, and Brittany Elliott with husband Matt.
While Tami reached her milestone, Brittany made her 20th lifetime donation and Nickie made her 40th. They all wore t-shirts made from a photo of Chet singing with his barbershop group “Music Men of the Miami Valley.”
Tami is a type O-negative “Universal Donor” who averages six donations a year. She was back to routine on Oct. 10, making her fifth donation of 2018. She wrote a dedication to her father, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 86.
“As a child my dad was stricken with polio, causing him to be in and out of the hospital throughout his childhood,” she said. “The disease made him a stronger person and taught him the need to give back. Throughout his adult life he gave on a regular basis.”
Chet had to stop donating when he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Side effects of the treatment caused internal bleeding.
“It was during this time that all three of my girls and I started donating in his name,” said Tami. “The process of giving blood is simple and takes approximately one hour of your time every eight weeks.
“Make a difference in someone’s life,” Tami said. “You never know… someday that difference might be one of your family members.”