Blood 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!
Mesa Donor Center
Norman has been a faithful donor at the Mesa center since 1983, and has achieved an impressive record of 347 donations. He can always be counted on to donate platelets – especially when he is a special match for a patient. Part of an elite group, Norman was one of the first 57 donors to be inducted into United Blood Services Century Club, entering as a Silver member. He is easy-going and never lets anything dissuade him from donating. Other donors enjoy it when Norman is in the Mesa Center, too, as they can always expect a marathon of NCIS episodes with a free-flowing bag of fresh-made popcorn.
Goodyear Donor Center
Sandra Britton has donated 100 times for Arizona patients since 2009. She was already a faithful blood donor long before she graced the front door of the Goodyear Center and has achieved a lifetime total of 222 donations. She’s the prefect MAX donor because, every two weeks, she gives whatever donation procedure is needed most based on current hospital supplies and her blood type. Sandra likes to give, rather than to receive, so she frequently declines to accept donor thank you gifts. She understands the importance of an ample blood supply, as it has impacted her own family.
Chandler Donor Center
Mike has been a dedicated donor since 1976 and has given and incredible 493 times. In fact, he is among the top eight people across Arizona with the highest number of donations. Mike was inducted as a Gold member into United Blood Services’ Century Club last fall due to this achievement. Rain or shine, he is always the first donor at the center and gives the maximum allowable donations each year. Mike is a devoted donor who is always available when needed. He even came in to donate for a patient when he was experiencing hardship due to a family member’s illness.
Scottsdale Donor Center
Sean was in college when he first started donating blood, but became a regular MAX donor in 2013 when he learned that cancer patients depend upon platelet transfusions. Sean lost his uncle to colon cancer in 2010, and his aunt to leukemia one year later – which left six cousins without parents. He realized that, for those struggling with cancer, his platelet contribution was lifesaving. He hopes that each of his platelet donations helps a patient recover so that they can come home to their loved ones. Sean has a competitive nature, so reaching the maximum 24-donation goal in 2015 was an important achievement for him. He also enjoys talking to other donors about their donation goals and encourages his friends, family and students to give platelets, too.
Glendale Donor Center
Ward volunteers in his local community to aid veterans, military facilities, seniors and children. When he saw a young girl named Kellie suffering from leukemia on the evening news asking for people to give platelets, he knew he had to help. So, he drove to the nearest Donor Center to give platelets to help kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Since then, Ward has averaged more than 20 platelet donations per year for nearly a decade. He has given an amazing 253 times. He regularly serves as an ambassador for platelet donation as he strikes up conversations with other donors to encourage them to try an automated procedure. Ward has volunteered to head up the blood drive committee at his local church with thousands of members, seeing the potential lifesaving impact that could be made by one group of people.
James Van Dyne
Phoenix Donor Center
With 592 donations on record, Jim has given more times that anyone else in Arizona and has been a dedicated platelet donor for more than 20 years. When Jim’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, he promised her that he would give blood as often as he could, hoping to reach 500 donations in her honor. Sadly, Mary Lou lost her fight with cancer in 1989, but Jim has continued his pledge to give platelets every two weeks. Jim is always ready to talk about the importance of blood donating with everyone he meets and has even participated in television interviews with United Blood Services to help increase awareness. Because of his dedication to saving lives, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton proclaimed October 23, 2014, as Jim Van Dyne Day.