Donors

Monday
Feb082016

Craig Foerster: Bone Marrow Donation Saves A Stranger's Life

by Tom Rademacher, Veteran Grand Rapids Press columnist and long-time Michigan Blood donor

Armed with a degree in culinary arts, Craig Foerster can whip up a mean soup fromscratch, as well as whole host of other epicurean delights.

But what he cooked up for a woman living more than 600 miles from his hometown of Suttons Bay in northern Michigan isn’t anything you can render from the kitchen stove or pantry.

“He not only saved my life,” says a grateful Pam Whitmore from her rural home in Buckingham, Iowa,
“but he extended it.”

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Saturday
Jan302016

John Wagner: Understanding The Need

by Tom Rademacher, Veteran Grand Rapids Press columnist and long-time Michigan Blood donor

To be completely honest about it, John Wagner had never been exposed that intimately to the need. He’d never lost someone close. Hadn’t known anyone who endured a traumatic accident. And wasn’t viscerally tied to someone gravely ill.

 Until, that is, John’s older brother Joe was diagnosed with cancer.

That changed everything. And today, John Wagner, 33, is a lot more conscious of the ever-present need for blood.

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Saturday
Aug012015

Becca Stothard – My Greatest Influence

by Tom Rademacher, Veteran Grand Rapids Press columnist and long-time Michigan Blood donor

When Becca Stothard of Midland donates blood, she sometimes closes her eyes, and it
doesn’t take long to wander back in time to the very reason she’s lying there on behalf of
others.

The gift she’s giving is tied to her beloved grandmother, Joyce Deford.

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Tuesday
Oct072014

A Tradition Of Saving Lives

Donating blood is a family tradition for Mark Hollenbeck and his two daughters—Brooke Hollenbeck and Amber Lowery. Not only is it a way for them to give back, but they also spend valuable time together as a family. Listen to their story and the next time you choose to donate, think about bringing a friend or family member with you to share in the joy of saving lives.

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Friday
Aug222014

Wendy Savickas – Blood Donor

“My father donated blood ever since I can remember,” says Wendy Savickas, whose donated over seven-gallons with Michigan Blood. “I remember getting calls at our house for him to come donate. That was my first introduction to blood donation, but he never talked much about it or pushed it on us.”

Despite childhood memories and a close family connection to blood donation, it would be decades before Wendy discovered her reason to donate.

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Thursday
Jun262014

Harley Durham - Blood Donor

“I donate because my mom needed blood,” says Harley Durham. “We almost lost her a couple times.”

Harley’s mother suffered a rare miscarriage a little over six years ago that required a life threatening surgery. “We didn’t know the risk factor at the time, but there was a strong chance she wouldn’t make it, but thankfully she did,” says Harley.

Then this past fall a subsequent surgery resulted in complications that had Harley’s mother in critical condition again. While these two events were the motivation behind Harley’s decision to donate, it has since grown to something more for the Belmont teenager.

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Wednesday
Jun112014

Barny Dykstra - Blood Donor

Barny Dykstra has never needed blood, nor has anyone else in his family. In fact, he can't think of anyone he knows who has. But that doesn’t stop him from being a blood donor. Barny says there’s no great story, or personal need to feel satisfied when it comes to donating blood. It’s simply a choice that he makes.

“My story’s not glamorous, but it's something I wanted to share,” says Barny. “I think there’s a lot people out there looking for something. They’re looking for a reason to help, but you don’t need a reason to give blood.”

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Thursday
May222014

Terry Buschert – A Lifesaving Donor

by Tom Rademacher, Veteran Grand Rapids Press columnist and long-time Michigan Blood donor

For reasons Terry Buschert believes only God might be able to explain, he took a different way home the evening of Thursday, April 3. And as Robert Frost’s poem about the road not taken aptly goes, it’s entirely likely “that has made all the difference,” at least in the life of a young man from Gowen, Michigan.

Michigan Blood might never have known about the heroic efforts of Buschert, had they not contacted him about donating the day after a near-fatal single vehicle accident that nearly claimed the life of the 21-year-old driver.

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Tuesday
May062014

Jennifer Eskridge – Stem Cell Donor

For Jennifer Eskridge, a failed attempt to donate blood on a frozen February afternoon in 2012 would ultimately lead to a life changing moment for a stranger she’d never met.

Because her iron was too low that fateful day, Jennifer was deferred from donating blood at a drive being held at her hometown church in Lapeer. But while she may have been deferred from donating, Jennifer was far from deterred.

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Wednesday
Mar122014

David Armbruster - Blood and Platelet Donor

Like so many other blood donors, David Armbruster wants and expects nothing in return for his donation.

“I get enough just knowing that I may have made a difference in someone’s life,” David said.

As a 15-gallon donor, David has a long-standing commitment to blood donation, but he also has personal experience on his side.

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