THE ENDURING STORY OF ‘BABY TRESSEL’ MEINARDI & 8TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL BLOOD DRIVE

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RICHMOND, Indiana – “Baby Tressel” Meinardi’s life story was tragically short yet it continues to inspire through his family’s dedication to helping save lives. “Storybook” was the theme of the eighth annual “Baby Tressel Day” memorial blood drive Saturday, Jan. 19 at Reid Health in Richmond.

A wintry mix of snow and ice was predicted across the region Saturday, but despite the forecast the blood driver totaled 26 donors and 21 donations for 95 percent of collection goal.

“The weather did not keep our Baby Tressel celebration from happening!” said CBC’s Melinda Frech.  “It turned out great.  Donors who thought they couldn’t make it in, made it on in.  A big thanks to all!”

Tressel’s parents Scott and Emilie Meinardi planned a “Storybook” theme in Reid Health’s Lingle Hall with a birthday cake and table displays featuring favorite books and dolls from children’s literature. Tressel’s younger sisters Scarlet and Grayce hand-picked their favorite storybook characters, including the “Cat in the Hat,” “Arthur,” the “Paddington Bear,” “Pete the Cat,” and “Fancy Nancy.”

Scott wore a “Team Tressel” t-shirt as he made his 21st lifetime donation in his son’s honor.

Tressel was born premature on Jan. 20, 2010 with a heart condition.  He was seven months old when he underwent heart surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. A tragic mistake during the procedure led to his death.

The community rallied around the family by supporting a children’s book drive in Tressel’s honor and the first “Baby Tressel Day” blood drive on Feb. 15, 2012. Mayor Sally Hutton read a proclamation declaring the memorial blood drive part of Richmond’s “Day of Caring.

The Meinardi’s have family in Findlay, Ohio and named Tressel for former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel.  They named their daughters Scarlet and Grayce for the Buckeye colors.

 

 

A SATISFYING DONATION FOR ‘OHIO DONOR MONTH’ SPONSOR STATE SEN. STEVE HUFFMAN

state sen. steve huffman with son will

DAYTON, Ohio – Miami County lawmaker Steve Huffman took care of some unfinished business on Jan. 10 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

Huffman, a lifelong blood donor and an ER doctor, sponsored House Bill 252 to designate January “Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month” while representing the Ohio House 80th district.  Three days after his swearing-in as the newly-elected member of the Ohio Senate 5th district, he joined family members in adding their donations to the first celebration of “Blood Donor Awareness Month.”

Steve and his wife Kathryn donated with three of their five children. Daughter Ashley and twins Will and Allison were available because they were home on holiday break from the University of Notre Dame.

“They’re modeling after me and my wife, who modeled after my parents, to give on a regular basis,” said Steve. “They started in high school and like a lot of people they just need a little reminder. That’s what Blood Donor Awareness Month is all about: a reminder to give blood on a regular basis as often as you can.”

The opportunity to donate with his son Will is especially meaningful to Steve. The twins were born 12 weeks premature and spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Will needed a transfusion and Steve donated directly for his son.

Steve encouraged his children to begin donating in high school.  He envisioned “Blood Donor Awareness Month” as a way to inspire a new generation of blood donors.

“I think it’s great getting into the high schools,” he said. “The earlier you can spark donating with young people, the more likely they’re going to be lifelong donors.”

Blood Donor Awareness Month is an opportunity for CBC to emphasize its strategic goals for 2019: Welcome new donors; encourage current donors to donate “one more time” than planned; and identify and recruit new platelet and plasma donors.

Platelets and plasma are clotting agents that are critical for the care of trauma patients, cancer patients, transplant, and burn patients.

“They’re needed in the ER and after surgery and trauma just as much as whole blood,” said Huffman, an ER physician at TeamHealth. “They are life-saving, especially in the ER, where you use plasma to increase volume.  Trauma patients lose so much blood they need the protein in the plasma to get back to their natural state.”

“Platelets are used in the ER to stop bleeding,” he said, “and they are used for cancer patients because the chemotherapy they are getting has decreased their own system’s ability to make platelets.”

Part of CBC’s goal for 2019 and beyond is to provide the opportunity to donate platelets and plasma at more mobile blood drives. “I think it’s great that CBC has so many different areas to set up and to partner with so many churches and other sponsors to provide the opportunity to give blood products,” he said.

RIVALS CARROLL & CJ JOIN FORCES TO HELP OTHERS WITH UNITY AWARD

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DAYTON, Ohio – Traditional Catholic school cross-town rivals Carroll and Chaminade Julienne High Schools joined forces to help others in the Community Blood Center/Universal 1 Credit Union “Unity in the Community” campaign.

They teamed up to donate $1,000 to Wagmor Service Dogs with the Unity Award presentation at their Jan. 11 Carroll-CJ basketball game.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between CBC, Universal 1 Credit Union and a select group of rival high schools in the region.  Carroll and CJ first joined the Unity Campaign in 2017. The rival high schools host CBC blood drives then alternate choosing a charity for the annual Unity Award.

Carroll and CJ took part in the 2018 Unity in Community campaign by hosting campus blood drives at CJ on Feb. 23 and Carroll on March 16. They totaled 181 donors, including 91 first-time donors and 151 donations.  The students earned more than 181 hours of community service.

As host of the 2019 rival basketball game, Carroll chose this year’s Unity Award recipient.  Carroll named Wagmor Service Dogs to receive the $1,000 award sponsored by Universal 1. Wagmor Service Dogs hopes to help people who need a loving companion with a soft touch to change their lives. Wagmor Service Dogs can help people with disabilities gain confidence and improve their independence.

Laura Wright, Carroll HS blood drive coordinator; Angela Ruffolo, CJHS blood drive coordinator; Donna Teuscher, CBC; Fran Morford, owner Wagmor Service dogs; Ryan Ballou, Carroll HS; Andrew Wong, CJHS students; Matt Sableski, Carroll HS principal; Abby Rau, Erin McGraw, Avery Meyer, Paige Tincu, CJHS students; Dan Gouge, Universal 1 Credit Union; Jeremy Greenleaf, CJHS athletic director; Mary Cook, Universal 1 Credit Union; Scott Molfenter, Carroll HS athletic director.

MONTHLY BLOOD DRIVES BEGIN AT TWO SPRINGFIELD CHURCHES DURING JANUARY OHIO BLOOD DONOR AWARENESS MONTH

bonnie davis donating

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – A blast of winter weather added a mid-January challenge to Ohio’s first Blood Donor Awareness Month, but it didn’t stop donors from giving strong support to Community Blood Center’s new monthly blood drives in Springfield.

Maiden Lane Church of God kicked-off the new schedule with its first monthly blood drive on Monday, Jan. 14 and First Christian Church of Springfield followed with its first monthly blood drive on Tuesday, Jan. 15.  Together they totaled 123 donors and 107 donations, including 20 platelet and plasma donations.

Both blood drives provided machines for platelet and plasma donations.  CBC is utilizing the first state legislated “Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month” to emphasize its strategic goal in 2019 of identifying and recruiting donors to give platelets and plasma. These blood components are critical for the treatment of trauma, cancer, burn, and organ transplant patients.

MAIDEN LANE CHURCH OF GOD MONTHLY BLOOD DRIVE

Maiden Lane Church of God traditionally sponsored an annual CBC blood drive, but its large auditorium will now host blood drives on the second Monday of every month.  The Jan. 14 blood drive totaled 43 donors and 35 donations.

Wren Clevenger was accustomed to donating platelets at CBC’s former Springfield branch, but on Monday began a new routine at Maiden Lane. “I do Mondays,” said Wren, who is an office manager in Springfield.  “On Mondays afternoons they have to do without me for a while!”

The pinch of a needle seems natural to platelet donor Jim Lyons, who travels Clarke County as a honeybee Apiary Inspector. “Bee stings don’t bother me. They happen about every day I work,” said Jim.

Jim first donated as a young man in the Marine Corps.  He went back to donating after raising a large family thanks to his daughter Jodi, who began donating in high school.  “She asked me to go with her,” he said. “I started doing platelets. I just asked, ‘What do you guys need the most?’”

Ron Henze is a new donor who felt drawn to the Maiden Lane blood drive as a family tradition.  “Inspired, I guess,” he said. “My father donated a countless amount of blood. I decided when I retired I would try to do the same.”

FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF SPRINGFIELD

Neal Mutter coordinates the blood drives at First Christian Church, which traditionally hosted three blood drives per year, supported mostly by church members.  The blood drives in the church gym are now the third Tuesday of every month with more donors from the wider community. The Jan. 15 blood drive grew to 60 donors and 52 donations for 130 percent of collection goal.

“I’ve had some donors I haven’t seen here yet,” said Neal said about his regulars, as he served juice and home-baked holiday cookies in the Donor Café. “But I’ll let them know about next month!”

A regular donor at First Christian is Latoya Keyes. “I really like getting calls letting me know my blood was used for someone, to save a life,” she said. “That means a lot.”

First Christian member Vic Gran is a platelet donor who made his 308th lifetime donation at the Jan. 15 blood drive. “I only live a mile from here,” Vic said.

Bonnie Davis and Gayle Borton are church members who donated whole blood Tuesday. Both have donated platelets in the past, and both made up their minds to return to giving platelets now that the option is available every month at the First Christian blood drives.

“I’m going to donate apheresis again because I’m B positive,” said Bonnie. “I actually thought about doing it today but the schedule was full.”

Blood types A, AB, and B positive are ideal for platelet donations.  Donors can find out more by talking directly to an apheresis specialist at (937) 461-3220.

Marilyn Perkins is a whole blood donor who made her milestone 25th lifetime donation at the First Christian blood drive.

“I didn’t start giving blood until I was in my 50’s,” said Marilyn.  “I was so busy working and having children.  It really touches me to get a phone call saying you saved a life. I’m honored to do it. God gave me blood to help someone. I’ve got plenty.”

The Maiden Lane Church of God monthly blood drives are the second Monday of every month.  The First Christian monthly blood drives take place the third Tuesday of every month.  (January and October are the only months of 2019 when the blood drives take place during the same week). Hours at both blood drives are always 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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TOP DONOR WENDELL CLARK WINS FRAN’S BUCKEYE BLANKET

wendell clark - osu afghan winner

A countless number of patients in need of blood have been fortunate to benefit from the generosity of CBC’s all-time top donor Wendell Clark.  But on his 683rd lifetime blood donation, it was Wendell who got lucky. He won the drawing for Fran Duell’s lovingly hand-crafted Ohio State University “Buckeye Blanket” afghan with his single entry after donating on New Year’s Eve.

Good fortune continued on New Year’s Day with OSU defeating Washington in the Rose Bowl to give Urban Meyer his final win as head coach of the Buckeyes.

Fran is a loyal donor and friend of CBC who makes afghans for a variety of donor drawings.  She is especially passionate about her pink “October Breast Cancer Awareness Afghan” after losing her sister to breast cancer.  As a loyal University of Dayton alumnus and basketball fan, she enjoys making a U.D. “March Madness Afghan” in the traditional baby blue Flyer colors.

CBC presented the blanket to Wendell when he arrived as a guest of honor for the Friday, Jan. 4 “January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month Kick-Off” at the Dayton CBC. Wendell will share the warmth of the OSU afghan with his wife Vivian.  She declared it a beautiful labor of love and sent warm thanks to Fran.

Wendell was the first honored guest to speak at the welcome ceremony and said, We need to keep recruiting more young people because the donor base is getting older and we need replacements for them.”

NEW SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER BLOOD DRIVES INSPIRES NEW DONORS

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The inaugural January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month is off to a strong start in Springfield with a new Community Blood Center blood drive at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

Springfield Regional began the New Year with its first community blood drive Wednesday, Jan. 3. The hospital will host blood drives on the first or second Thursday of every other month (every eight weeks) from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Garden Level conference room across from Garden Café.

Springfield Regional Medical Center is at 100 Medical Center Drive and donors can schedule an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.

CBC’s strategic goals for 2019 announced during January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month include identifying and recruiting new platelet and plasma donors.  This includes expanding opportunities for platelet and plasma donations at community blood drives, including the Springfield Regional blood drives.

Platelets and plasma are vital to the treatment of cancer, organ transplant, burn, and trauma patients. New platelet donors are in high demand, especially those with blood types A, AB, or B positive.  Donors can find out more at www.GivingBlood.org  or talk to an apheresis specialist at (937) 461-3220.

“I was just walking by and saw the sign,” hospital lab technologist John Stout said after donating at the Jan. 3 blood drive.  His work in the lab makes him familiar with how often blood is used at the hospital.  He was encouraged to become a platelet or plasma donor because his AB blood type makes him an ideal donor.

“I didn’t know you had it here today,” John said. “It’s easy for me next time to give platelets and plasma.”

Larry Moorman from Springfield is a regular platelet donor.  He wore colorful holiday socks, a donor gift from CBC, while making his 117th lifetime donation at the new Springfield Regional blood drive.

“I go back to the days when my father donated and started me, and I gave in the military,” said Larry. He began donating platelets and became even more dedicated after a two-year deferment from donating as he received treatment for prostate cancer.

“Cancer,” said Larry. “When you hear that word you think, ‘This could be it.’”

Cindy Hawkins from Springfield made her first lifetime donation at the Jan. 3 blood drive. She went back to school to become a nurse late in her career and now works in the pulmonary unit at Miami Valley Hospital.  She talked about why she was inspired to become a donor.

“I was on a cruise, and we were in the middle of the ocean when a passenger needed blood,” she said. “I thought, I’m a nurse and I don’t even know my blood type. You want to help and you can’t, but some on the ship were able to.  Now I administer blood to patients, and today is my first day donating.”

cindy hawkins donating

NEW MONTHLY SPRINGFIELD BLOOD DRIVES

Beginning Jan. 14, 2019 the Maiden Lane Church of God at 1201 Maiden Lane will host a blood drive on the second Monday of every month from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Beginning Jan. 15, 2019 the First Christian Church of Springfield at 3638 Middle Urbana Road will host a blood drive on the third Tuesday of every month from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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OHIO BLOOD DONOR AWARENESS MONTH IS A CALL TO ACTION IN 2019 & BEYOND

cbc honored donors

DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center officially kicked-off the first state-wide celebration of January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month Friday, Jan. 4 with a call for more people to join a new generation of blood donors in 2019 and beyond.

CBC Chief Operating Officer Jodi Minneman thanked Rep. Steve Huffman of Miami County, an ER physician and lifetime blood donor, for sponsoring House Bill 252 to declare January “Blood Donor Awareness Month.”  CBC gave proponent testimony before the House and Senate Health Committees and the bill was signed into law on Feb. 8, 2018.

“We’re here today to thank Steve Huffman and endorse the legislation’s stated goals,” said Minneman. “We want to raise awareness about the necessity of blood donations, to encourage more people to donate, and to honor all donors for helping save the lives of fellow Ohioans.”

Minneman also announced CBC’s top strategic goal for 2019 of identifying and recruiting more platelet and plasma donors. These blood components are critical for the care of trauma patients, cancer patients, transplant, and burn patients.

She emphasized the need for a new generation of donors to take the place of lifetime donors who are approaching an age when they many no longer be able to donate, and might eventually need blood.

“We ask anyone who has never given blood to consider donating for the first time,” she said.  “And if you are already a donor, consider giving one more time than you may have planned.”

Several honored guests of CBC spoke at the kick-off celebration:

Wendell Clark from Eaton (CBC’s all-time top donor with 683 lifetime donations). “We need to keep recruiting more young people because the donor base is getting older and we need replacements for them.”

Katie Ellis from Kettering (CBC’s top female donor with 532 lifetime donations). “It’s only an hour and a half out of my day and it’s no big deal,” said Katie. “I want to be able to help anybody I can. It’s just a way to give back and it doesn’t cost you anything to give a pint of blood to help somebody.”

Susan Leugers from Botkins – (Started the annual Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive in memory of the daughter she lost to pancreatic cancer at age 22). “I think that anybody that can give blood should,” said Susan. “Four years ago I started the blood drive in honor of my daughter and it’s very well attended by people from Botkins. I’m proud of our community and I’m proud of the people who step up to the plate and donate blood.”

Kelly Schmitmeyer from Anna – (Kelly was scheduled to make her 44th lifetime donation the day she suffered a pulmonary embolism that nearly claimed her life. She received eight blood and platelet transfusions and was resuscitated several times. Kelly can no longer donate but her entire family now donates in her honor).

“I was always a routine blood donor and while I knew it was important and a good thing to do, it never had the impact it did when I became a recipient of blood in December of 2017,” said Kelly.  “In my recovery time the one question that continued to cross my mind was ‘What if the blood hadn’t been available for me?’ Giving blood really does save lives and so that’s my encouragement to everyone. What an easy way to save lives by giving blood. It truly is needed and you never know when you might be a recipient yourself.”