One year ago Karen Glaze was working in a cancer center in Cincinnati, Ohio when she received a call from her son that would change her life. Karen’s grandson, Cooper, had a black eye that wouldn’t go away and the family was becoming concerned. Cooper’s parents took him to the doctor and were shocked to discover that their son had Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that commonly affects children five or younger. Karen immediately dropped everything and drove to Grand Rapids to be with her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.
How do you spend your free time? Ask Jeff, Karen and Justin Blue that question and they can rattle off an impressive list of ways they spend theirs. Each rooted in community involvement. From church, to Boy Scouts, to Habitat for Humanity, the list goes on.
For the Blue family, time spent with others in mind is just as important as time spent on themselves. It’s part of the reason why they’ve become such dedicated volunteers at Michigan Blood.
Which volunteer has been involved in blood banking for 51 years, volunteered for 18 of those 51 and has donated more than 21 gallons? Northwest Michigan’s own Phil Knapp. When the Traverse City office initially opened more than 18 years ago, Phil was one of the first volunteers to come forward. Since that time, Phil has embodied Michigan Blood’s mission and continues to demonstrate his dedication and service on a regular basis.
Shirley McKinney has been a loyal Michigan Blood Volunteer since December 2012. She volunteers in the Kalamazoo center’s post donation area and enjoys meeting and talking to donors.
Shirley has lived in the Kalamazoo/Parchment area for nearly her whole life, leaving for seven months to be with her husband, Ralph, who was in the army and stationed in Washington state. She attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College for an administrative assistant education and enjoyed working at Tower, Pinkster & Titus, and word processing at a bank and then after retirement for Manpower where she received the Secretary of the Year award.
He’s done it again. One of our volunteers has gone above and beyond his usual role. Len Kamsickas started as a volunteer driver and was featured in our Volunteer Happenings newsletter in September of 2013.
Len recruited a company called IAC (International Automotive Components), who has a location in Alma, to do a blood drive for Michigan Blood back in September of 2013. It was very successful, registering 62 donors and drawing 39 pints.