Monthly Archives: April 2015

2014 MAX Donors of the Year

2013 LogoBlood donors are often unsung heroes. Last fall, UBS center staff members nominated outstanding MAX donors who demonstrate dedication to the blood program in their attitude and actions. They considered those donors who are willing to give the type of donation most needed by patients when asked to do so and those who provide inspiration for others to join them in donating blood. To honor their unique dedication and spirit, a star was named for each of them with the International Star Registry. Congratulations to the MAX Donors of the Year!

Lawrence Anders
Phoenix Donor Center

Larry has been a dedicated platelet donor for more than 17 years, currently donating over 20 triple platelet donations in a year. Because he is Type A-, he also donates red cells. In addition, he is the coordinator at his church, running as many as three blood drives a
year. He says that guys at work are getting tired of him trying to get them to donate, but “I’m not giving up!” Larry is a devoted husband, father and church member. He also donates his time to the Phoenix Police Department’s youth program. The Phoenix Donor Center staff says “Larry’s smile, light-hearted spirit, and dedication to blood donation is a welcome sight every 2 weeks.”

Linda Cleary
Scottsdale Donor Center

What may first strike others about Linda is her style and fashion. The Scottsdale Donor Center staff calls her a “fashionista.” She even dresses to reflect the spirit of the holidays, such as Christmas-themed attire or showing up as a witch for Halloween. Linda has been a regular donor since 2000 and has made her bi-weekly platelet appointments a top priority by always booking her next appointment before she leaves her current one—and she is never late. With one of the highest cell counts in the center, she enthusiastically gave 24 double platelet donations last year. She has an infectious upbeat personality and doesn’t miss an opportunity to make friends with other donors. The Scottsdale staff says “she has a personality that people are drawn to. Very fun!”

Colleen Cummings
Mesa Donor Center

Colleen has been a faithful donor with United Blood Services for over
30 years. In 2009, she made her first platelet donation and she hasn’t
stopped since. All told, she has made 145 donations. Unless her iron
is too low, she gives platelets every two or three weeks alongside her
daughter. In addition to her platelet donations, Colleen volunteers many
hours with her church. The Mesa Donor Center staff looks forward
to her visits when she keeps them current on all of her family news.
The Mesa staff describe her as a “dedicated and true volunteer,” who
“always keeps us laughing.”

John Johnson
Chandler Donor Center

John never misses any of his over 20 platelet appointments every year. When he is at the Chandler Donor Center, he takes every opportunity to educate others about platelet donations and what it means to him. He personally shares his gratitude to other donors for their commitment to the blood program. The staff at Chandler Donor Center describe John as helpful and wonderful to have around. “John is always happy to be here; he always has a smile on his face. He has saved so many lives and he enjoys every minute of it.”

Marcia Unser
Glendale Donor Center

The adjectives that best describe Marcia are dedicated, kind, caring, generous, and—most of all—humble. The Glendale Donor Center staff writes that she “wouldn’t want anyone to make a big deal about anything she does.” But, she does a lot for her community. Since 1984, she’s donated platelets 264 times. She coordinated blood drives at Honeywell before she retired and now volunteers for hospice. She feels very strongly about the mission of United Blood Services and the importance of platelet donation and will share her opinions with anyone who will listen. It’s no wonder that Glendale staff consider her “a huge part of our platelet family.”

Life is Good Again: Robert Scanlan’s Story

By Robert Scanlan

I was Headshotliving the American Dream with good health, a loving family, a beautiful home and a thriving business. In fact, we were scheduled to move the business to larger quarters the last weekend in March, 1998.

Early Monday morning as I dressed, my wife teased, “Honey… better exercise more. Your tummy’s getting round.”

Two days later at the doctor’s office I had no medical history to share—nothing worse than the common cold. Days later in the hospital, doctors told me, “Your liver is in total failure. We don’t know why. There is no cure. No way to fix it. The only solution is a liver transplant. We’ll do our best to keep you alive day-to-day while we try to get you on the waiting list.”

I was one of the lucky ones. Thanks to the miraculous skills of my transplant medical team, the loving act of organ donation by an unknown family and the generous contribution of blood donors who provided more than 40 blood transfusions for this procedure, I received a new liver two weeks later.

Six months after transplant, I returned home to find we had lost our home, our business, all our assets and my career. I have an MBA and decades of business and finance experience, yet could no longer do arithmetic.

Two years later, I had rebuilt a fully active life with my family, friends and a new career.

Life was productive and fulfilling again… until ten years later when my new liver failed. Scar tissue build-up and liver rejection placed me back in the hospital ICU and on the transplant waiting list. I would also need a new kidney for survival since the medications keeping me alive for the past ten years had the side-effect of attacking my kidneys.

Once again, through the brilliance of talented surgeons, the lifesaving gifts of yet another unknown organ donor family and the donations of another 50 unknown friends who gave blood, I received both a new liver and a kidney. Again, I found myself physically and financially devastated. At 6’2” tall, I weighed 104 pounds. My finances were in about the same condition.

I had another life rebuilding job to tackle and returned to school. I became a professional transitions coach for life and business, a writer, author, and speaker. I dedicated a major portion of my time pro-bono to assist transplant patients and their families in crisis, and to raise awareness of the need for organ donor registration. And without so many anonymous donors in my life, I would have missed another inspiring family adventure!

My granddaughter, Ally, just returned from three weeks in Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands. Her journey was not a vacation—all business. With a lifelong commitment as a musician, singer and song writer, this trip marked a turning point in her life. The venture was her first tour with a rock band as lead singer, also playing the keyboard and guitar. The toughest part for her was handling media interviews in three languages.

The organizers molded the itinerary around her return to a more stable paying job as assistant teacher of Advanced Spanish for senior students at a major college-prep. She also needed to return to her own classwork. Ally is in the eighth grade.

Life is good again.

Robert Scanlan is a public speaker and author. His forthcoming book, Tigers Under My Bed is due out soon and focuses on his amazing journey through three organ transplants and the life-issues that brings. Find out more about Tigers Under My Bed and Robert at