Be Someone’s Hero. Give Blood.

UD Wins CAA for Third Year in a Row

(released by Colonial Athletic Association)

RICHMOND, Va. (December 13, 2013) – The 12th-annual Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Blood Challenge proved to be a big success as 2,903 productive units of blood were collected from 2,776 donors on nine CAA campuses.

Over the 12-year history of the event, the CAA Blood Challenge has resulted in 39,622 productive units of blood.

“Thanks to everyone who organized and participated in making the CAA Blood Challenge a success,” CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. “The outstanding efforts put forth by our students, faculty and administrators have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people during a critical time for blood donations over the holiday season. This event has become a source of pride at all of our CAA institutions.”

The University of Delaware captured the CAA Blood Challenge for the third year in a row and seventh time overall with 1,173 donors.

““The University of Delaware is extremely proud once again this year to have captured the CAA Blood Challenge title,” said University of Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Eric Ziady. “We are proud of our student-athletes’ accomplishments both in the classroom and on the playing fields and programs such as this play such an important role as our young men and women develop into leaders in the community.  We want to thank everyone in the UD community who took part in this great program and gave a life-saving gift to those who need it most.”

Said Jerry Oravitz, UD’s Director of Football Operations and UD’s Blood Challenge Site Coordinator, “The University of Delaware Department of Athletics & Recreation Services is thrilled to win our third consecutive CAA Blood Challenge Championship. This string of success is another great example of the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the university, and our community working together as ONE TEAM to provide a necessary and critical service for the people in Blue Hen Country.”

Drexel University finished second in the CAA Blood Challenge with 380 donors and Hofstra University was close behind in third with 370 donors after having the highest percentage increase of donors from 2012. Towson University (295 donors) and UNCW (189 donors), which placed fourth and fifth respectively, also saw an increase in the number of donors from a year ago.

Delaware used the theme “Dare to Donate” and enlisted the support of the businesses in the city of Newark as well as the campus community to spread the word of the blood drive.

“After a very successful blood drive last year, the largest in Blood Bank and CAA History, our staff was determined to make a statement and go for a ‘Threepeat’ this year. I am happy we accomplished that goal,” said Roy Roper, President and CEO of the Blood Bank of Delmarva.  “As a longtime community partner and supporter, we could not be more proud of our staff, the students, administration, faculty and alumni of the University of Delaware. Students, faculty and neighbors came together again to support another hugely successful day.  This is an outstanding effort and we’re proud to say the CAA Blood Challenge trophy will be staying in Newark, Delaware.”

“It’s exciting to win a competition, continued Roper, but at the end of the day the real winners are the patients who will be helped by these lifesaving gifts.”

The CAA Blood Challenge was developed by the conference presidents as a fun way to emphasize the critical importance of donating blood. Each CAA institution worked with its local blood service center and designated one day during the fall term to conduct a campus-wide blood drive. Student groups, faculty, staff and alumni were all encouraged to participate.

Commissioner Yeager will present the University of Delaware with an award in recognition of its outstanding achievement during a basketball game this winter.

Taylor, 17, New Castle, DE

Taylor, a 17-year-old junior at William Penn High School in New Castle, DE, has a very personal motivation for giving blood.

“I had a brother who passed away when I was five. He had a rare brain cancer and died when he was only 17 months old,” says Taylor. “He had two brain surgeries in one year and needed large amounts of blood for both.”

While her brother went through treatments at a children’s hospital, a young Taylor saw many other ill children in the halls and playrooms. They were children who were her age and younger.

“I wanted to know how I could help them. The most personal way I can help is to give blood,” says Taylor. “Giving blood is worth it in every way. It could be your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother who needs the blood. It could happen overnight. You just never know.”

Jonathan, Elkton, MD

Jonathan W. of Elkton, MD has been a regular platelet donor for several years. It is something he has always believed is the right thing to do. In October 2011, the need for donors like himself truly hit home.

Jonathan’s four-year-old son Gage was diagnosed with portal hypertension, a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by impaired blood flow to his liver. He ended up needing regular platelet transfusions prior to diagnostic and reparative procedures since his platelet counts were dangerously low and left him at risk for bleeding easily.

“It was shocking that my own son would be a patient in need of platelets. You never think that your own child will need any type of transfusion,” says Jonathan. “It really made me think about the other children and adults who are able to live because of dedicated donors who give of themselves every day. You just never know when it is going to affect your life so deeply.”

Wyzhir, 17, Mardela Springs, MD

On Christmas Eve 2010, Wyzhir Johnson was cutting a strip of molding with a miter saw when the holiday turned from festive to frantic.

With a sudden slip, Wyzhir instantly lost his left hand just above the wrist.  He was flown to a trauma center and immediately taken into surgery around 1 a.m. Christmas morning.  It took surgeons more than 12 hours to reattach his hand. That night complications set in.  Wyzhir developed a high fever and high blood pressure.  He was taken back to surgery.

After six hours of surgery, he was stabilized.  Over the next couple of days, various treatments and surgeries were attempted, but ultimately the doctors determined Wyzhir’s hand could not be saved.

Wyzhir’s brave response was, “It’s not what I wanted to hear, but I know it was in God’s plan for me.”

Although his hand could not be saved, Wyzhir’s life was spared because of the many blood transfusions he received. He is now a healthy, happy 17-year-old senior at Mardela High School in Mardela Springs, MD.

Abby, 16, Wilmington, DE

After experiencing debilitating headaches and undergoing countless tests, 16-year-old Abby was diagnosed with a brain tumor—a meningioma—a benign mass the size of an orange. She needed immediate surgery or would risk seizures, a massive stroke, and even death.

During her surgery and recovery, Abby needed blood and platelet transfusions. “We were supported by a strong network of family and friends and an expert team of doctors and nurses that helped us through it all,” says Abby’s mother, Julie. “We are also SO thankful to the people who donated the blood that saved my daughter. They gave a special gift.”

Abby is just one of 20,000 people on Delmarva each year who depend on transfusions. Thanks to the caring people who donate blood, they have a fighting chance!

Gage, 5, Elkton, MD

Four-year-old Gage W. of Elkton, MD, was a seemingly, perfectly healthy little boy until October 2011, when after a week of high fevers, he suddenly began vomiting a profuse amount of blood. After several months of testing and uncertainty, he was diagnosed with portal hypertension, a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by impaired blood flow to his liver. Portal hypertension is an increase of blood pressure in the portal vein from his intestines to his liver causing an enlarged, overactive spleen and esophageal varices (blood vessels in his esophagus that bleed very easily). Gage depends on platelet transfusions prior to diagnostic and reparative procedures since his platelet counts are always low and leave him at risk for bleeding easily.

“His overactive spleen gobbles up the platelets,” says his mother, Molly. Gage will continue to need transfusions for specific surgical procedures to manage the PH. He wears a spleen guard to protect the spleen because it is enlarged and particularly vulnerable.

Ironically, Gage’s father, Jonathan, is a regular platelet donor and has been for several years. “It was a shock to us that our little boy would be a patient in need of platelets. You hope that your children will never need any type of transfusion,” says Molly. “I am so grateful to Jonathan and all those people who take the time to donate,” she says. “It truly is a lifesaving gift.”

Lifestream Winter 2013

Thanks to our many generous and dedicated blood donors, 2012 was another record-breaking year for Blood Bank of Delmarva! From school blood drives, corporations taking on the SBC and community supporters at local blood drives, we were once again able to meet the needs of all 16 hospitals on Delmarva throughout 2012.

Take a look at some highlights from 2012.

Lifestream Newsletter Winter 2012

The weather is hot and the enthusiasm is even hotter. Blood Bank of Delmarva’s Summer Blood Challenge is in full swing. The SBC is the organization’s largest blood donor and membership campaign of the year!

View the complete newsletter.