DAYTON — Family and friends will honor former Milton-Union High School principal and coach Ed Lendenski with the 5TH annual Ed Lendenski Memorial Blood Drive Wednesday, July 6 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the West Milton United Church of Christ social hall, 108 South Main St. The blood drive is sponsored by the West Milton Lions Club and comes during the challenging July 4th holiday week. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (800) 388-GIVE.
Ed died in 2012 after a long battle with the bone marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome. MDS patients develop severe anemia and his treatment included many blood transfusions. His family began the memorial blood drive as a way to thank and honor blood donors who helped extend his life.
“I’ve tried to donate and my hemoglobin is always too low,” Ed’s wife Carolyn said after making her first lifetime donation at last year’s memorial blood drive. “I thought why don’t I give it a try? I did it and I feel great!”
Everyone who registers to donate will receive the new “Whale of a Blood Donor” T-shirt featuring a humpback whale and Alaskan mountain range design. Everyone age 18 and older will also be entered in the Community Blood Center “Wild About Alaska Adventure for Two Summer Blood Drive” drawing to win a custom-designed Alaska vacation for two.
The grand prize includes air travel to Alaska, deluxe accommodations during your week-long stay, and options for a cruise or land travel. The vacation is for the winning donor and a travel companion.
Donors can double their chances of winning by donating early in the summer and becoming eligible to donate again. They will be entered in the drawing a second time when they register for a second donation during the May 2 through Sept. 3 blood drive period. Official rules are available at www.givingblood.org.
New challenges to the summer blood supply
The summer of 2016 brings new challenges to maintaining the regional blood supply that go beyond the busy July 4th holiday period and the seasonal disruptions from high schools on break, family vacations, travel, and outdoor activities. New screening restrictions to protect the health of donors and the safety of the blood supply are impacting the number of people able to donate.
CBC and blood centers across the nation continue to take caution against the Zika virus. Potential donors who have traveled to Zika endemic areas in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central or South America are deferred from donating for 28 days. The restriction is expected to decrease the number of eligible donors by approximately 2.25 percent.
A change in FDA screening regulations went into effect May 23 to protect the health of donors. A higher hemoglobin level is now required for male donors. The 12.5 grams per deciliter (g/dl) requirement for donating has increased to 13.0 g/dl for males. (The female requirement remains at 12.5 g/dl).
CBC estimates the new hemoglobin requirement, coupled with stricter pulse screening requirements that also took effect May 23, could have an impact of up to six percent in the donor deferral rate.
Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org