It’s Vol. 1, No. 1
MICHIGAN COMMUNITY BLOOD CENTERS
Vol. 2, No. 4 December 2006
S Winter 2007
In This Issue
S Camp Bow Wow
Blood Drive – p. 2
S Rotary Blood Challenge
Winner – p. 2
S Fundraisers – p. 2
Saved Our Little Girl
S Give Blood, Play
Hockey – p. 3 Smiling playfully for the camera, Nyla Vander to the generosity of blood donors,
S Breast Cancer Laan is the picture of health. But three Nyla is a happy, healthy 3-year-old.
Awareness – p. 4 years ago, the day after her birth, Nyla was “If I could give blood I would do
dangerously close to death. Donated blood it every single month,” says Leda, who
S “Witch” Type Are You? – p. 4
saved her life. often can’t donate due to the minimum
S Al Whitney, Platelet Born in Grand Rapids on November 18, weight requirement. “My goal was
Crusader – p. 5
2004 Nyla at first seemed perfectly healthy, to give back what Nyla took. So far,
S Rep. Brian Calley – p. 5 but by early morning the next day her I’ve been able to donate once.”
S National Blood temperature was extremely low and she was “Anybody that I can tell our story to
Collectors Week – p. 6 refusing to eat. Then she began vomiting get them donate is important,” says Leda.
blood. She was rushed from Metro Health “I think people look at giving blood [think it]
Hospital to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. goes for only car accidents and surgery, and
“Basically, I was in a state of don’t always think about a six-pound baby.”
shock,” says Leda Vander Laan, Nyla’s
mother. “It happened so fast. She
threw up blood, they rushed in, and
then she was on her way to DeVos.”
Bleeding overnight from a massive The average newborn baby has only 12 ounces of
ulcer, tiny Nyla had lost nearly 20 percent blood in her body. Thanks to local blood donors, Nyla
of her blood into her stomach. She received two blood transfusions that saved her life.
received two blood transfusions, as well Photo courtesy of LVL Photography.
as fresh frozen plasma. Today, thanks
“Local people saved our little girl,” says Leda
Vander Laan, pictured with 23-month-old Nyla,
son Tyler, and husband Brian. “Donated blood
is needed for so many different reasons. If
you have not given blood, please do. And if
you give blood on a regular basis, thank you.”
Photo courtesy of LVL Photography.
Man’s Best Friend Helps
Recruit Donors Camp Bow Wow director
Bryan Eggleston with Leslie,
The Blood Bus stopped in Hudsonville
a 4-year-old Coonhound mix
on October 15 for a doggone good
from Harbor Humane Society.
time at Camp Bow Wow. This was the Photo by Megan Grimm.
first blood drive hosted by Camp Bow
Wow. Ten people signed in to donate,
including four first-time donors. Everyone
who tried to donate received a free day
of dog care from Camp Bow Wow.
Twilight Rotary Takes
Prize In Traverse City
In August this year, in the second
annual Rotary Blood Donation
Challenge in Northwest Michigan,
Traverse Bay Twilight Rotary beat
out five other local Rotaries by
recruiting 62 percent of its total
membership to donate blood. Tasty Fundraisers Benefit MCBC
Also participating were Rotary
Club of Elk Rapids, Rotary Club G.B. Russo & Son International international wines as well as a
of Kalkaska, Traverse Bay Sunrise Grocery sponsored two fundraising variety of pasta dishes, salads, hors
Rotary, Rotary Club of Traverse events this fall to benefit nonprofit d’oeuvres, desserts and coffee; and
City, and Suttons Bay-Leelanau organizations, including MCBC a silent auction, which raised $1500
County Rotary. Calculating and Madonna’s Raising Malawi at the November 9 event. Madonna’s
the total number of members organization. Both events were father, Silvio Ciccone, was also on
recruited by each club and held at Pietro’s Applause Banquet hand to host a table of specialty
factoring it as a percentage of Hall in Grand Rapids. The “Fall wines from Ciccone Vineyards of
total membership determined Artistry Food and Wine Tasting” was Suttons Bay, MI. Special thanks
the winner of the challenge. held on October 5 and the “Pre- to John Russo for organizing the
Combined, the Rotary clubs Holiday Wine and Gourmet Food event, and to WLHT 95.7 New Lite
recruited 18 percent of their Tasting” was held on November 9. Rock for support and promotion.
membership. This is especially Both events featured a wine
impressive considering only 5% list of more than 40 domestic and
of those eligible to give blood
actually do. “By far exceeding
the national Michigan State
average, the Representative Glenn
Rotary clubs did Steil (R-Cascade) and
an exceptional job wife Linda were among
saving lives,” says 150 guests at the Nov. 9
Peter Wandoff, “Pre-Holiday Wine and
MCBC recruiter Gourmet Food Tasting”
in Traverse City. event held at Pietro’s
Hall in Grand Rapids.
Photo by Jaela Jones.
Blood Center recruiter Peter Wandoff (left) presents Twilight
Rotary club president Michael Schockley with a plaque
honoring the club’s victory in the Rotary Month Blood
Donation Challenge. The event was held to recruit donors
and help avoid potentially dangerous blood shortages
during the summer. Photo courtesy of Peter Wandoff.
2 Vol. 2, No. 4 S Winter 2007
Saginaw Spirit mascots Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle (far left) and Sammy Spirit (right)
joined MCBC’s Lil’ Drip (JoAnn Glynn, MCBC recruiter) to encourage hockey fans to roll up
their sleeves and donate blood. The all-star mascot team will be back on January 4, 2008 for
another Give Blood, Play Hockey event hosted by the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Adam Baudoux.
Saginaw Spirit player Tomas Zaborsky helped
recruit donors at the event by signing autographs.
He even made his girlfriend donate to receive one.
Photo courtesy of Saginaw Spirit.
BLOOD Hockey Fans Help
Support Local Blood Supply
The Saginaw Spirit teamed up with Event Center donated the use of
MCBC to collect 17 pints of blood the room for the 4-hour blood
at the Give Blood, Play Hockey drive. The Spirit will host a second
drive on September 22. The drive event on January 4, 2008 to help
was held at the Dow Event Center boost the community blood supply
during a game against the Sarnia during a game against the London
LA Sting. The Spirit helped sign up 33 Knights. Anyone who signs up to
people to donate blood. Donors donate blood will receive a free
were able to continue watching T-shirt and a voucher for two
the game via closed-circuit TV tickets to a Spirit home game.
in the Garden Room. The Dow
Donor Alesha Weigl (with
Donor Services staff Therese,
at left). Alesha was one of 33
hockey fans who took the time
to try to donate blood at the
Give Blood, Play Hockey drive
held at The Dow Event Center
in Saginaw. A total of 17 pints
of blood were collected at the
event. With each pint of whole
blood separated into three
vitally important components,
51 people could be helped
by the blood collected at this
event. Photo by Adam Baudoux.
3 Vol. 2, No. 4 S Winter 2007
Breast Cancer Patients
MCBC in St. Joseph helped raise awareness of breast
cancer patients’ need for blood by sponsoring two
days of drives in conjunction with Breast Cancer
Awareness Month. Donors were able to donate in
honor or memory of someone affected by breast
cancer, and could post a pink ribbon with the name
of a friend or loved one on the wall of the Blood
Center in St. Joseph. Donors could also send
a letter to the person they
the event and the need for
blood. Cancer patients often
require blood transfusions after
Blood donors dedicated
chemotherapy and radiation
their gifts of life to someone
treatments, which reduce the affected by breast cancer by
body’s natural ability to produce placing a ribbon on the wall
blood cells. These transfusions (above) at the Blood Center
help sustain the immune system, in St. Joseph. At left, Jennifer
helping to fight disease. Morris, with Donor Services
staff Erica, donated blood
during the campaign. Cancer
patients often need blood
to help boost their immune
systems. Photos by Doug deBest.
No Matter “Witch” Type,
Halloween Donors Saved Lives
MCBC donor centers in Saginaw, Bay City, and
Midland hosted the “Witch” Type Are You?
Blood Drive this Halloween. Partnering with local
businesses to recruit blood donors, employees at
MCBC in Saginaw got into the spirit of Halloween
by dressing up as their favorite ghosts and ghouls.
Donors were picked up in the “Boo Mobile”
and taken to the closest MCBC center. Knights
Luxury Transportation provided limousine
service for donors to return to their workplace
afterward. Each donor also received a flower
from their local professional florist through
Saginaw Valley Flower Exchange. Across the
three locations, 131 donors signed up to donate
blood and the drive produced 94 pints.
“Witch” Type was the 17th annual
such event in Saginaw, according to
Mary Ebelt, MCBC special events coordinator.
“This is the first time that the event has been
Diane Erndt (left, donor services Bay City) and Schellen Kidd
held in all three counties,” Mary says.
(right, donor services Bay City) join in the Halloween fun during
the “Witch” Type Are You? Blood Drive. For the record, MCBC
typically uses much smaller needles. Photo by Christy Trerice.
4 Vol. 2, No. 4 S Winter 2007
Platelet Crusader Launches
Cross-Country Awareness Campaign
Six down, 44 to go. That’s Al Whitney’s patients who have had radiation or
current tally as he treks across the country chemotherapy, which affect the body’s
to donate platelets in all 50 states. ability to produce normal amounts
A 70-year-old, 5-gallon, whole-blood donor of blood cells. Plateletpheresis is the
from Avon Lake, Ohio, Al has made more than donating process that extracts whole
580 platelet donations in his home state as blood, separates out the platelets,
well as stops in Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and returns the remaining blood
Michigan, and most recently Kentucky. His components back to the donor’s body.
Michigan stop was back in September at
MCBC in Grand Rapids. A friend
with a private plane flew him into
the city. “Right now I typically
drive, but I’m looking for an
airline to sponsor me,” says Al.
“I’ve been donating platelets
Al has been donating whole since the late sixties, but
blood since the 1960’s. When his local I started this goal about 2
blood bank started taking platelet or 3 months ago” says Al.
donations, he decided to “give that “I don’t have a target date
a try.” Since then he’s been trying for completion, but it will
to raise awareness for the need for probably take over two years.”
platelets at local blood banks across the He donates about 24 times
country. “I let them use me as a tool a year. His reception, Al says,
has been warm everywhere
to do that.” Platelets can be stored for
he goes. After his Michigan
only 5 days, so donations are always
stop in September, pictured
needed to maintain a constant supply. here, he received calls from
Platelets, a component of whole community blood centers in
blood, help promote clotting. They Al says he hasn’t decided yet which state is next, but he’s California and Oregon inviting
are often prescribed for cancer considering New York, Maryland, or Virginia. When asked about him to their states to donate.
the possible difficulty of donating in more remote states like Photo by Megan Grimm.
Hawaii or Alaska, has simply said, “They’re a state right?” He’s
already had an invitation from Alaska to donate. Incidentally,
Al has also donated in Sydney, Australia. But as he’s quick
to point out, “That’s not a state.” Photo by Megan Grimm.
Representative Brian Calley
Tours MCBC Grand Rapids
Michigan Representative Brian Calley legislation regarding blood donation,
(R-Ionia) toured MCBC in Grand Rapids Jenna’s Law (Sen 0486), which would
on October 5. Calley visited the blood lower the minimum age for donating
donation area, cord blood bank, blood to 16 with parental consent.
and the component and distribution “[Jenna’s Law] doesn’t require any
areas of the laboratory. Representing state funding, and would increase
Barry and Ionia counties, Calley has blood supply for the entire state,”
sponsored blood drives frequently says Barar. A strong advocate of blood
to increase blood supplies during donation, Calley has expressed support
critical need periods. He spoke with for Jenna’s Law, which passed the
Linda Barar, MCBC vice president of state Senate in July 2007 and currently
Corporate Relations, about proposed awaits approval by the House.
Representative Brian Calley (right) examines a liquid
nitrogen cold storage unit used for storing frozen cord
blood stem cells. At left is Mary Banfill, who heads
MCBC’s Cord Blood Bank. Photo by Megan Grimm.
5 Vol. 2, No. 4 S Winter 2007
More New Community
MCBC NEWS is produced by the Communications
& Marketing Dept. at Michigan Community Donor Sites
Blood Centers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, for
quarterly publication at www.miblood.org Like all of MCBC’s Community Donor
Editor Toni Gould Centers (complete list at www.
Writer Sean Dailey miblood.org), these sites have been
established with the cooperation of local
Photographers As Credited
institutions. MCBC is very grateful to all
Graphic Designer Megan Grimm
of these institutions for their support in
Production Dionne Wetzel, Jennifer Johnson sustaining the community blood supply.
MCBC NEWS welcomes readers’ comments.
Send e-mail to email@example.com; or call Staff at MCBC in St. Joseph celebrated National
(616) 233-8534, or toll-free 1-866-MIBLOOD Blood Collectors Week on September 18 with a FOREST HILLS COMMUNITY DONOR CENTER
(press 1). prize drawing and mini-celebration. Left to right 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. S 3rd Friday Every Other Month
Michigan Community Blood Centers are Ron, LaTonia, Cindy, Sherry, Jenny, Michelle, At Forest Hills Public Schools
is an independent, nonprofit blood bank that and Erica. “We all had a great time celebrating Community & Aquatic Center
provides 100% of the blood supply for 22 the work that we do,” said Doug deBest, site 660 Forest Hill Avenue SE, Grand Rapids
hospital facilities in four major regions of the manager for MCBC in St. Joseph. National Blood
state (combined pop. exceeding 1.5 million). HUDSONVILLE COMMUNITY DONOR CENTER
Collectors Week was started by AABB (formally
1 p.m. to 6 p.m. S 1st Friday Every Other Month
American Association of Blood Banks) and Fenwal At Heritage Reformed Church
Inc. in 2005 to recognize the work done by blood 4995 32nd Avenue, Hudsonville
collection professionals in creating a positive
experience for blood donors. Photo by Doug deBest. WALKER COMMUNITY DONOR CENTER
Noon to 7 p.m. S 2nd Friday Every Month
At Walker Fire Station #3 in Community Center
1470 Three-Mile Road, Walker
6 Vol. 2, No. 4 S Winter 2007