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JANUARY OHIO BLOOD DONOR AWARENESS MONTH KICK-OFF IS JAN. 4

January 2, 2019

January 2019 is the inaugural celebration of "Blood Donor Awareness Month" in the state of Ohio.  CBC will host a news conference on Friday, Jan. 4 at 10 a.m. at the Dayton CBC Donor Center, 349 South Main St. to officially kick-off the month-long observance.

All donors and supporters are invited to the celebration.   CBC hopes to boost the blood supply after the long holiday period by encouraging donations Friday at the Dayton CBC.  Everyone who registers to donate will received the commemorative "Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month" t-shirt and a $10 Kroger gift card.  Donors must make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.

Rep. Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City; Senator elect for 5th Senate District), an emergency room physician and a life-long blood donor, introduced House Bill 252 for an Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month in 2017. CBC gave proponent testimony before the House and Senate Health Committees and the bill was signed into law on Feb. 8, 2018.

  "It is my sincere hope that it will make a difference, that it will inspire our citizens to act, and it will most importantly save lives every day across our great state," Rep. Huffman said.  "We have a growing need to get the young people involved. To teach them that it's easy to start giving blood as part of service to others."

Honored guests at the news conference and celebration event:

Wendell Clark (Eaton) - CBC's all-time top donor with 683 lifetime donations.   Wendell returned to donating in 2016 after a two-year deferment for cancer treatment.  He was inducted into the 2017 class of the Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame.

Larry Turner (Xenia) - Larry is CBC's second-ranked donor with 665 lifetime donations. He is only the second CBC donor to top 600 donations.

Bert Jones (Dayton) - Bert is CBC's third-ranked donor with 616 lifetime donations and the last donor to top 600 donations.

Katie Ellis (Kettering) - CBC's top female donor with 531 lifetime donations.  She grew up in Kettering, became a nurse, and coached golf and soccer at Alter High School.  She was one of the original donors in CBC's apheresis program. In 2017 she became the first CBC female donor to reach 500 donations.

Judy LaMusga (Beavercreek) - CBC's second-ranked female donor with 477 lifetime donations. She is one CBC's original apheresis donors, served on the CBC advisory board, and received CBC's Award of Distinction.  She retired from 35 years of public service with the Montgomery County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities then earned a law degree at the University of Dayton and opened her own practice.  She gave proponent testimony for Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month before the House Health Committee. 

Larry Smith (Oakwood) - Larry has 367 lifetime donations.  He has been blind since birth and was abandoned as an infant on the steps of the Children's Home. He overcame an abusive childhood to become a hospital dark room technician, marathon runner and lifetime donor. He braved a winter storm on the day after Christmas in 2012, with all mobile blood drives cancelled, to donate at the Dayton CBC.  He was inducted into the 2016 class of the Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame.

Susan Leugers (Botkins) - Susan has 138 lifetime donations and is the coordinator of the annual Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive in Botkins.  Susan founded the blood drive in 2016 to honor her daughter, who was just 22 when she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. Susan gladly agreed to move the blood drive to the day after New Year's to help replenish the post-holidays blood supply.  She gave proponent testimony for Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month before the Senate Health Committee in 2017 and was inducted into the 2018 class of the Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame.

Kelly Schmitmeyer (Anna) - Kelly was set to make her 44th lifetime donation the morning of   the 2017 Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish holiday blood drive when 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 continues to donate in her honor.  She served as a volunteer at the 2018 Sacred Heart holiday blood drive in December.

Glenn Stoops (Oakwood) - Glenn is a committed platelet donor with 315 lifetime donations. He began donating after receiving blood during surgery after an accident.  He inspired his young friend Theodore Hale to become a donor.

Theodore Hale (Oakwood) - Theo is a 19-year-old freshman at Sinclair Community College who has already achieved 25 lifetime blood donations.  Theo began donating while at Fairmont High School where he was honored as "Firebird of the Year" for academics, leadership and service, and as "Mr. Fairmont" for school spirit.   He is one of CBC's youngest platelet donors.

In 2019 CBC is expanding the opportunity to donate platelets and plasma at select community blood drives. Platelets are the cells that control bleeding while plasma is the fluid that maintains blood pressure. Both are vital for the treatment of cancer, trauma, organ transplant, and burn patients.

To encourage donors to join this 2019 initiative CBC is introducing "The Big Six Platelet Donor Challenge."  CBC will feature a new, limited-edition platelet donor t-shirt every two months.  The t-shirt is free when you register to donate.  Platelet donors are encouraged to donate often and collect all six.

New platelet donors are in high demand, especially those with blood types A, AB, or B positive.  Find out more at www.GivingBlood.org  or talk to an apheresis specialist at (937) 461-3220.