TIPP CITY – State Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) can go from the statehouse to the emergency room to a mobile blood drive and always feel right at home.
On Thursday he visited the United Methodist Church blood drive in his hometown of Tipp City to thank donors for supporting the first celebration of January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month.
Huffman, a lifelong blood donor and an ER doctor, sponsored House Bill 252 designating January “Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month” while representing the Ohio House 80th district. He was sworn in as senator for the 5th district on Jan. 7 and a few days later visited the Dayton Community Blood Center to donate with his family.
The stated goal of the new legislation is to increase awareness of the need for blood donations, to encourage more people to give blood and to recognize the lifesaving contributions of blood and platelet donors.
“There’s a need out there,” Huffman said. “People don’t come out in the cold. They may be sick and may be deferred. There is still a need for cancer patients, trauma patients and surgical patients for all types of blood, plasma, platelets and whole blood.”
CBC is emphasizing the strategic goal of identifying and recruiting a new generation of platelet and plasma donors and providing more opportunity for these donations at mobile blood drives. Beginning Thursday, the United Methodist Church introduced expanded blood drive hours from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. and for the first time included machines for platelet and plasma collection.
Donations increased 35 percent Thursday, totaling 81 whole blood donors and 70 whole blood donations plus seven platelet donations for 117 percent of goal. The church hosts blood drive every two months with the next scheduled for March 21.
“I didn’t have a clue what it was,” new platelet donor Gaye Gabel from West Milton said.
She has 56 lifetime donations, but Thursday marked her second platelet donation. “There’s a need,” she said. “The donors are getting older, and there’s a need for younger people. My father had cancer. I thought if I can help, why not?”
Troy donor Brenda Bodey is a retired postmaster who recently returned to donating after surviving a scare from malignant melanoma.
“My daughter works at Dayton Children’s,” she said. “They had a blood drive there, and she kind of got me back into it.”
As a type A positive donor, Bodey is a candidate for platelet donations, and she is now considering it.
Sen. Huffman made the rounds of the blood drive visiting donors. He congratulated Tipp City neighbor Marjorie Jordan on her milestone 100th lifetime donation.
“I’ve got eight kids, so I missed a lot,” Jordan said. “But I’m glad I got there.”
Huffman’s friend and fellow donor Steve McCrillis praised him for the Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month legislation.
“I think it’s a good idea to provide more donors and more vision of what’s going on and the opportunities to give,” he said.
“I greatly appreciate all the donors, here and all over that donate blood,” Huffman said. “In the communities like churches here in Tipp City that open their doors to have blood drives, to understand what it is for service, to give back to the community and to help others. I’m a practicing physician. I give blood, I order blood, and I see it on a regular basis: the need and life-saving ability of blood products.”
Donors can connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at www.GivingBlood.org. Individuals can get fast and complete answers on how to make their first donation, organize a blood drive or bring Community Blood Center’s education program to a school. People can get all the updates in the CBC/CTS newsroom, find quick links to Community Blood Center’s social media pages or schedule an appointment to donate by connecting to www.DonorTime.com.
Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors also are asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch and blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (donors may have to weigh more, depending on their height) and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-388-GIVE. Donors can make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.
Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to 25 hospitals and health centers within a 15-county service area in the Miami (Ohio) and Whitewater (Indiana)Valleys.
For more information about Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services, visit www.givingblood.org.