DAGSBORO, Del. – Spring brings new life and a rebirth to nature in all its splendor and glory, and it’s hard to top the Delmarva Peninsula’s glorious spring. It’s also a time when donors renew their commitment to save lives. That includes Nancy McSherry, who donated whole blood on a picture perfect, sunny day in the Dagsboro Donor Center on Wednesday, April 12. This was her first time donating blood in a year, and it came fittingly during spring.
“I was doing it year-round, but last year I had surgery,” Nancy said. “I finally can donate again.”
Also in the whole blood section was Mary Beth Hebert, with a no-nonsense approach to donating during her second favorite season. (Spring is second only to summer for her.)
“It’s something everybody who’s capable of doing should do,” Mary Beth said. “It’s easy. It does so much good without a lot of effort.”
Over in the apheresis section, platelet donor Hollis Provis reconnected with Blood Collection Tech IV Kate Keller. Hollis has a special place at BBD as far as Kate is concerned.
“He started in Dover as one of my first platelet donors back when I started training back in the early 2000s,” she said. “He’s one of my favorites. Hollis is like a celebrity amongst us. Jeremy Piazza and Bruce Mafi [in Dover} are jealous that he spends time with us now.”
Prior to BBD, Hollis donated many years ago with the American Red Cross in New Jersey. We’re glad he’s been with us for many years now.
“I am blessed and feel obliged to share,” Hollis said.
Across the floor, George Breig donated double red cells. Similar to Hollis, George donated for some time with ARC before moving to Delaware and donating with Blood Bank of Delmarva.
His mother received a few transfusions during surgery in 1971.
“Two people she didn’t know donated blood and helped her get through that operation,” he said. “I just thought that was so generous. I was just out of college, and I started donating blood.”
Dagsboro whole blood donor Pawel Hyra can relate.
“The main reason I donate is that a few years back my daughter got cancer, and she received a lot of blood,” Pawel said. “Since that time, I’m trying to help others.”
During our visit to Dagsboro, it was also good to see young donor Brianna Henry. She is a graduate of Indian River High School in Dagsboro.
“I started donating in high school because we organized a blood drive, and I just kept doing it,” Brianna said. “What if I need blood someday?”
Last but not least, in a precursor to Mother’s Day in May, Ilene Cohen fulfilled her appointment on Wednesday, and she brought along her son, Joel Cohen, as a walk-in.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Ilene said. “People always need it. I’ve been doing it since I turned 18.”
Joel has followed in her footsteps. He has donated blood because of his mother’s inspiration.
“As soon as I turned 16, I started giving blood because of her,” Joel said. “She still reminds me.”
Thank you, Ilene and Joel. And thank you to all our wonderful donors and staff, including Supervisor, Collections Dawn West, Blood Collection Techs Kate Keller, Mayra Colung-Lopez, and Ava Pembroke and Donor Registration Specialist Sherry Bryant.
Also, a very special thanks goes to our volunteers. We would be remiss if we did not say happy Volunteer Appreciation Month to Mary Lynn Gillard, who was on duty Wednesday, and to co-lead volunteers Michelle Slafkosky and Karen Logue and all the volunteers who take care of our donors.
Postscript: Blood Collection Tech Mary Adkins is based in Dagsboro, but she has graciously been filling in on the depleted Mobile Operations unit.