DAYTON — Clayton donor Lynne Gallaher and her daughter Kathy enjoyed a special “girls on the town” outing after their Oct. 11 visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center. They were celebrating Lynn’s milestone 100th lifetime donation.
Lynn’s journey to her 100th donation began with a simple inspiration. “I was working at NCR,” she said. “On my way home from work I just stopped. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.” Visits to the Dayton Donor Center became a routine. “So then I would leave work at five and buzz in and out.”
As Lynn made her 100th donation Kathy was nearby making her 13th lifetime donation. “I’m retired,” said Lynne. “I kind of got out of my routine, but now I have my daughter, and we come together.”
“We normally come together,” said Kathy. Afterwards, its errands or shopping “and we go have lunch. It’s the girls out on the town!”
After retiring Lynne averaged two or three donations per year. But she reached the 100 milestone with her fifth donation of 2018.
Lynne has a simple reason to stay loyal to her donation routine: “It’s just the fact that it’s needed,” she said. “Once you get into the routine it’s easier.”
Union donor John Lynn is a former U.S. Air Force medic and a retired mail carrier, with a downtown Dayton route that included Community Blood Center. He made a very special delivery Oct. 18 when he made his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation with CBC.
John’s retirement after 34 years with the U.S. Postal Service was well-earned. “It was six days a week, 40 to 60-hour weeks, 10-11 hours every day,” he said. His last 15 years was spent on the downtown beat, all on foot, with a special mission to make CBC mail arrived on time. “The mail has to be delivered!” he said.
He was also on a mission to donate, averaging five or six donations per year and reaching his 100 milestone with his fifth donation of 2018. His CBC donation history does not include his time in the service.
“I started when I was in the Air Force in Illinois,” John said. “I was a medic, and if you were a medic you had to do at least one!”
John prepared for his military service at the former Patterson Co-Op High School, where he studied medical arts. He missed just three out of a thousand questions in a medic by-pass test that helped him earn a place on “Mobility Team B,” an elite medical evacuation team.
“Team A went down in the Iran hostage rescue crash in 1980,” he said. “We were always on call.”
He served six years in the U.S. Air Force, including two years in reserve at Wright-Patt, before transitioning to the postal service.
John’s wife Carol is a science teacher at Mound Street Academy. Their two children were both classical musicians at Stivers School for the Arts. Their daughter Candace is a civil engineer, and their son Jonathon works in anthropology and linguistics. He wanted them to have opportunities he didn’t have when he was young
“I wanted to be a physician,” he said. “I grew up the youngest of eight kids. We just didn’t have the money.”
He remains inspired to be a “Donor for Life.”
“Because I was a medic, I always wanted to give back,” John said. “It was my way of helping.”
Union donor Doug Minneman has been a loyal “Donor for Life” for decades, regular donating whole blood at the Dayton Community Blood Center. He enjoyed an extra satisfaction after making his milestone 100th donation on Oct. 22.
“I did want to hit 100,” Doug said. “I thought it would be fun to do it.”
It’s not every donor that gets a visit from CBC’s top management while accomplishing a milestone, but dedication to the cause comes in the family. Doug is married to CBC Chief Operating Officer Jodi Minneman.
“You know, you started donating when I started here way back in 1983,” Jodi reminded Doug. “We got married in ’84, on the first Saturday after I had been here a year.”
Jodi started in the CBC labs, and ironically Doug’s blood drew the attention of technicians in the rare blood lab. Since his blood type is O negative, Doug is a “universal donor” for all patients in need of transfusion. But his blood is also a match for patients with certain rare attributes.
That inspired Doug’s dedication to donating. He averages five donations per year and reached his milestone 100th donation with his third donation of 2018.
Doug and Jodi have a daughter Leah. She grew up familiar with two “family” businesses. One is Jodi’s dedication to CBC, and Doug’s history as a “Donor for Life.” Doug has also worked 34 years helping run MTM Molded Products, a Dayton business family owned and operated since 1968.
Englewood donor Nancy Weisner celebrated her milestone 100th lifetime donation Oct. 30 at the Dayton Community Blood Center. Leading her cheering section was her husband Jim, the other half of the Weisner “Donor for Life” team.
Jim and Nancy were high school sweethearts and will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year. They’re both retired nurses and are the parents of twins with four grandchildren. Jim made his 111th lifetime donation on Sept. 4.
Family inspired Nancy to become a donor. “I just remember when my grandfather broke his hip and needed surgery,” Nancy said. “It was in the ‘70’s. Back then if your family used blood you replaced it. That’s when it all started.”
Nancy and Jim were attending different high schools when they met. Jim was in the class of ’65 at Chaminade and Nancy graduated from Alter in ’66. They met just before her senior year.
They worked as nurses at St. Elizabeth Hospital. “We were on different floors at St. E,” said Nancy. “He was in orthopedics and I was in cardiac.”
Jim’s nursing career didn’t begin until he returned from serving in the Vietnam War. He went into the U.S. Army after graduating from Wright State University.
“Her mom was a nurse,” said Jim. “That was why she became a nurse and that got me into nursing too. I served in Vietnam as an Army artillery officer with the 101st Airborne and came out as a first lieutenant.”
Jim and Nancy have kept an equal pace as “Donors for Life.” Nancy tries to average four donations per year and reached her milestone 100th donation with her third donation of 2018. They continue to be the type of couple that can finish each other’s sentences, especially when they talk about their dedication to giving blood.
“It’s such a simple thing, but it’s a good thing to do,” said Nancy.
“It’s a community service,” said Jim.
“It is,” agreed Nancy. “And it’s not that hard to do.”
Connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at www.GivingBlood.org.