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High School Student Caleb Green Turns Sorrow into Service

High school senior earns Michigan Blood’s Donor for Life Leadership Award


MIDLAND, MICH. (May 2, 2016) – It was the start of a new year and Caleb Green never would have guessed that his world was about to drastically change.

The high school senior was busy leading the soccer and basketball teams at Calvary Baptist Academy in Midland, volunteering with his church, and spending time with family. He also made time to participate in Michigan Blood’s Donor for Life Leadership Program.

Caleb was devastated when he learned in January that his mother had weeks to live. His mother, Barb Green, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011 during Caleb’s 8th grade year. He spent five years watching her undergo several treatment options. 

“When my mom first became sick, I was very angry and didn’t feel that God was there for me,” said Caleb. “But God would eventually get ahold of me and point me in the right direction.” 

Barb Green passed away on Feb. 9. She was 48-years-old and left behind her husband Jason, two daughters Emily and Sarah, and son Caleb.

Despite the devastation Caleb experienced, he stayed loyal to commitments he made at school, church, and volunteer service with Michigan Blood. 

“While Caleb knew that his mom was very sick with cancer, he stayed to work the January blood drive held at Calvary Baptist Academy,” said Karalee McKinstry, the consultant for the blood drive. “He volunteered to be the student intern for that blood drive, and he saw that commitment through despite his family’s devastating circumstances.”

Through continued efforts beginning earlier in his high school career, Caleb completed the Donor for Life Leadership Program and earned red cord honors that he will wear at graduation this month. Caleb is the only student at Calvary Baptist Academy to receive the honor for donating blood with Michigan Blood six times. 

“Michigan Blood is honored to recognize Caleb for his commitment to blood donation,” said Tamar Chipp, community relations coordinator for Michigan Blood.  “We thank him for his loyalty and applaud him for turning his sorrow into service for others.”

To complete Michigan Blood’s leadership program, students donate blood six times before graduation or become a blood drive leader. Participants also have the opportunity to volunteer additional service hours with Michigan Blood. Students can sign up for the program at www.miblood.org/donor-for-life.

“Realizing how much blood my mom needed over the years, I really feel the burden to be the one to give back as a thank you to all the other donors,” Caleb said. “I still have deep sorrows and pain, but have God to lift me up and carry me through the difficult times. I also know I have all of you to be there for me through your love, support, and prayers.”

Michigan Blood is the sole provider of blood and blood products for more than 60 hospitals in Michigan, including MidMichigan Health, Covenant HealthCare, and St. Mary’s of Michigan. Donations given outside of Michigan Blood do not have direct local impact. Donating blood with Michigan Blood helps save the lives of patients in Michigan hospitals. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate. Blood donors should bring photo ID. We are currently in urgent need of O-Negative blood donations. Due to school spring breaks, typical Michigan weather swings and other factors, we are experiencing lower than expected blood collections, and we are striving to maintain a safe level of inventory. For additional information on donating blood, and to make an appointment, visit www.miblood.org.


About Michigan Blood

Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is a fast growing, independent, non-profit blood bank headquartered in Grand Rapids. It provides blood products and services for more than 60 hospitals throughout Michigan and is an established leader in quality and service. Michigan Blood collects more than 125,000 units of blood each year at nine permanent donation sites and more than 3,600 mobile blood drives in 40 counties statewide. Michigan Blood has a nationally recognized stem cell (marrow) program and created Michigan’s first public cord blood bank. In addition, Michigan Blood provides therapeutic apheresis, cellular therapies for the treatment of cancer and transfusion medicine consultations. For more information, visit www.miblood.org.