Sommer Deering Faces Her Fear for the Sake of Her Son

Overcoming Your Fear of Donating Blood To Save A Life

When Traverse City residents Sommer and Mike Deering met at the county fair as teenagers, they hit it off right away and bonded over their hobby of raising pigs. They had no idea that their summer meeting would change the course of their lives forever. They fell in love, have been married for 15 years and have two sons.

When their youngest son, Cam, was an infant, he became very sick. The family brought him to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Baby Cam was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), which is a disorder that causes an overproduction of cells that can form tumors or damage organs. During his week in the hospital, he needed a blood transfusion to survive.

Click to read more ...


The Millers 'Share The Love' Through Regular Blood Donation

Celebrating 40 years of marriage this past January, Gary and Peggie Miller of Gladwin, Mich. say they love to do almost everything together. Dating back to the early years, Peggie recalls volunteering to be the scorekeeper during Gary’s slow-pitch softball games and his “clock gal” during his hockey seasons – just to be with him.

They also made the commitment years ago to donate blood together.

Click to read more ...


Scott Litle: Take Your Donation To The Next Level

This article was published in the Midland Daily News on January 24, 2016.

Scott Litle knows a great double play when he sees one.

So when the Great Lakes Loons' vice president and general manager got the chance to donate double red blood cells with Michigan Blood's new Alyx System, he didn't hesitate.

"If you can get twice the benefit out of drawing blood from one person, it seems that's the way to go," said Litle, a frequent donor at Michigan Blood's Dow Diamond donor center.

Click to read more ...


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.”

Click to read more ...


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.

Click to read more ...


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

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

Click to read more ...


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.

Click to read more ...


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.

Click to read more ...


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.

Click to read more ...


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.”

Click to read more ...