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Blood Donor's Passion: Saving Lives

If you’re ever in the Grand Rapids Donor Center and see a woman donating platelets with her arm wrapped in a homemade blanket, you’re likely looking at Ruth Bush. Not only does she donate regularly (and comfortably), she does it with one mission in mind.

“My goal is to be the top female donor,” said Ruth.

Currently at 19 gallons, she’s already one of Michigan Blood’s top female gallon donors. What’s more, she has experience in going the extra mile for those who need it – a few years ago, she was a match for someone who needed her platelets, specifically.

“I have something that people need and can produce freely,” she said simply, “To help others – you don’t necessarily need to know who the other people are. You can help a stranger.”

Helping others through blood donation is something Ruth not only participates in, but organizes. She’s been helping to run Michigan Blood drives as a Donor Chair Person for St. Mary Magdalene Church for nearly a decade. She said this gives donors a chance to do it in their community.

“Blood is so needed in hospitals. I want to organize so people can donate closer to home instead of driving [out of their way],” she said.

Part of her role in helping with blood drives involves not only recruiting people to donate, but providing information about how it’s used across the state. She provides bulletin articles for her church, using info she finds on the Michigan Blood website…which then reinforces why she donates blood, herself.

“If it doesn’t feel good, the person receiving it probably has it a lot worse,” she said, “What if your mother needed blood? Help her!”