Jeremy K Evans
American Red Cross
Woodland Hills Donor Center
Woodland Hills, CA
Jeremy started donating with the American Red Cross in 2004, as a student at Hollywood High School. He was soon introduced to the world of apheresis donation, and has become a passionate, committed, and much-valued blood donor. To date, Jeremy has given a total of 500 plus units.
Jeremy’s dedication to serving his community and country extends far beyond blood donation. He's currently a Medical Dispatcher/EMT for Air St. Luke's in Boise, Idaho, a Cal Fire wildland firefight hand crew, an EMT and 911 Dispatcher for McCormick Ambulance for LA County, a Disaster Service EMT volunteer for the City of Torrance, and, in September, will be deployed as an Army Medic Healthcare Specialist for the California Army National Guard. But he never lets this difficult work keep him from donating — Jeremy has been known to come to the center after a 48-hour shift as an EMT to continue the mission of saving lives.
Jeremy is a true hero, in every facet of his life, and an example for all to follow.
American Red Cross
Fullerton Donor Center
Mr. Van-Dorn started donating whole blood in 1987, and became a platelet donor ten years later. He knows the importance of platelet donations first-hand, as his son died at an early age after having received many platelet transfusions. Since then, Mr. Van-Dorn has donated in his memory.
Blood donation is far from Mr. Van-Dorn’s only contribution to the community. He has worked for The City of Azusa in California as a Community Improvement Inspector for the Business License Division for 8 years. He is active in the church, and also in the arts, participating in many local musicals, barbershop quartets, and choirs — in fact it was through The Second Generation Choir that he met his wife 33 years ago.
Still, Mr. Van-Dorn never lets anything else get in the way of his support for blood donation. Not only has he never missed an appointment, he will not travel to any deferral area, because of his commitment to the apheresis program. In July 2016, Mr. Van-Dorn gave his 900th donation, and set a new, inspiring goal: reach 1,000 units by early 2018.
American Red Cross
Portland Donor Center
Felix’s journey as a platelet donor began in 2007. He was 10 years old and fell out of a tree breaking his wrist and femur, which snapped in half. When he became aware of the blood and platelet donations he needed to heal, he began to understand how important it was that people give blood. For the next six years, Felix talked about how he couldn’t wait to be old enough to donate so that others in need would have the blood and platelets that were available to him.
In 2014 Felix started donating platelets — a triple every two weeks and 24 times in a rolling calendar year. To date, he’s given more than 183 units of platelets.
When asked why he donates, his answer is inspiring. “I do it because I know I’m helping save the lives of cancer patients, burn victims, and anyone else who needs platelets to survive. I do it for the young kids with chronic diseases so they have a chance to thrive as adults.” It’s that passion that makes Felix a true platelet Super Hero.
American Red Cross
Durham Blood Donation Center Durham, NC
Joshua became a donor when he was 18 and has been a very regular donor for 10 years now. Joshua drives about an hour each direction to come to the center, but he always arrives with a big smile and a basket of fresh, homemade baked goods for the staff — and everything he bakes is delicious.
Joshua jumped in to help with recruiting donors on a big drive at North Carolina State University, as he can’t understand why there isn’t more participation from young donors. When asked why he became a donor himself, as a young man, Joshua’s response is simple. “It was the right thing to do to help save lives,” he says.
Joshua was recently selected as a bone marrow match for a patient, and happily agreed to donate. His only concern was that he would have to skip a few platelet donations in preparation for the procedure. It’s just one more wonderful way Joshua is an inspiration to the many young people in our communities who believe that helping others is a priority in life.
Bonfils Blood Center
Thane is more than an amazing teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, he’s also their blood donation champion. Through his leadership, the school has ranked number one out of more than 100 high schools who hold blood drives in the state, year after year, for the largest blood drives and most blood collected. His efforts have resulted in more than 3,200 units collected and more than 9,500 lives saved. Equally important, they have provided a means for many to help heal their community, even years after the school’s devastating tragedy.
Through education and innovative programs, Thane has inspired and enabled students to give as much as possible. He created the first-ever Colorado High School/Alumni Summer Blood Drive, bringing together school alumni and thelocal community during months that are difficult for blood centers, and he is developing the Gallon Donor Award, to celebrate those who donate at least three times each year. Thane’s enthusiasm and ideas have spread well beyond Columbine, and he is now a sought-after source of advice for other school leaders interested in engaging today’s youth in the life-saving mission of blood donation.
Lisa has been hosting blood drives for more than nine years. To date, she has helped collect more than 500 units of blood and saved more than 1,500 lives.
Her passion emerged after her own need for a blood transfusion and first took form in the annual blood drive she runs at her office at ERA Colonial Real Estate. She’s grown the drive from one bus and 20 units collected, to two buses and 50 units collected. To ensure her events are successful, she’s been known to encourage potential donors to eat iron-rich foods by making them her “secret recipe” spinach salad.
In September 2013, tragedy struck when her son, Will Truitt passed away after a motorcycle accident. To honor him, she started hosting two more drives each year: The Will Truitt Memorial Blood Drives, held in May on Mother’s Day weekend and in September during Labor Day week. She also began Motorcycles, Moms and Me, a non-profit bringing everyone together to promote both blood donation and motorcycle safety.
Lisa Truitt was honored by Carter BloodCare as the 2016 Circle of Life recipient for her steadfast support of their community blood program.
Community Blood Center
Susan was a dedicated blood donor before she lost her daughter Chelsea Lukey to cancer in 2010. It was one of the things Chelsea was most proud of about her mom, and something she wished she could do too.
So, six years after Chelsea’s death, Susan decided to launch a blood drive in Chelsea's honor in their small town of Botkins, Ohio. At the first Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive, held in July 2016, 76 donors participated, including 34 first-time donors. One of newcomers was Chelsea’s own brother, Nathan.
Based on her success, Community Blood Center asked Susan if she could hold her second annual drive just six months later, to help boost blood collections during the challenging holiday season. She readily agreed. It resulted in increased participation, with 91 donors, including 16 first-timers, and hit 115 percent of the collection goal.
“I’m passionate about being a blood donor, and it was the obvious thing to do in Chelsea’s honor,” said Susan, who has donated more than 130 times. Her passion has now become an inspiration for the whole Botkins community.
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
Following the example of his mother and his brother, Josh Beard began donating blood in 2009. But in 2014, Josh experienced first-hand the importance of giving. He and his wife, Chelsea, saw their first son, Milo, struggle with the effects of Rh disease. Milo received a blood transfusion just days after his birth.
In 2016, after multiple consultations and tests, Josh and Chelsea found out their second child would face the same complications as Milo. At just 23 weeks, the baby received an in-utero blood transfusion. Four more in-utero transfusions later, the Beards welcomed another son, Brooks.
Milo and Brooks are now happy and healthy, growing boys, but without the generous donations of volunteer donors, the Beard brothers would not have survived. So, Josh gives back to those who gave for his family, every 56 days. In addition, the Beard family hosts a blood drive thoughtfully named “The Beard Brothers Give Back,” in an effort to thank donors and replenish all they have used and more.
New York Blood Center
Bobby Daquara has been committed to blood donation for a very long time. The Green House Café, a Brooklyn, New York restaurant owned by Bobby, and his partner, John Keegan, has been the site of blood drives since 2009.
In February 2013, Bobby and his wife lost their daughter, Haley, to leukemia. She was just 10 years old. After Haley died, the drive was renamed Haley’s Comets in her honor and significantly expanded. Along with their team, they now run blood drives seven times a year, including in the critical, high-demand months of July and December.
In the eight years he’s been running blood drives, Bobby has supported the community by collecting more than 1,700 donations.
Oklahoma Blood Institute
Oklahoma City, OK
Mr. Grant has been giving blood with Oklahoma Blood Institute for its entire four decades. Mr. Grant first started giving blood when he learned about a little girl who was born with a life-threatening kidney disease. Since then, he’s made it his mission to donate every chance he gets. And when Mr. Grant sets his mind on a goal, he meets it. At 82 years old, he became the oldest graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma.
Now, at age 85, Mr. Grant has a friend drive him to give platelets every other Friday. His eyesight is deteriorating, but he’s still going strong. Mr. Grant has given nearly 70 gallons of blood, adding up to more than 550 platelet and blood donations. He says giving blood has helped him conquer alcoholism and cope with the death of his wife.
A character in every sense of the word, Mr. Grant loves to share the life-saving power of blood donation with others.
“One, you get a $400 physical! Two, it’s good for your system: you rebuild your blood. And, three, you save somebody’s life! What a combination of things to do!” says Mr. Grant. “Doesn’t cost anything, just takes a little bit of time, and I’ve got time.”
Titusville Donor Center
Dwayne started donating whole blood at 18 years old, when his father talked with him about the importance of blood donors. After realizing the value of his rare blood type, AB+, he started actively donating platelets and plasma.
Dwayne has worked at Kennedy Space Center for over 20 years in Titusville, Florida, where he was raised. In his spare time has set up many blood drives at local churches and volunteers on those drives to help recruit future donors. He enjoys preaching about the importance of blood donation. He likes to remind people that “blood doesn’t grow on trees” and that following accidents or illness, donations can be the thing that “helps people survive, to be with their families.” He believes he has encouraged more than 1,000 people to become donors over the years.
Dwayne is now 44 years old, and has donated more than 133 gallons of blood, platelets and plasma. Dwayne always donates the maximum amount he can in a year, because, as he says, “it’s more important to give than receive”.
Rockledge Donor Center
George originally started donating blood when he was just 20 years old, at the start of his 23-year career in the U.S. Navy. Whenever there was an appeal for donors, George was ready and willing to serve.
Since his service in the military, George has retired again, from 15 years as a science teacher at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida. Though he remains actively involved in many school activities, helping out with the drama club and the volleyball, basketball, and softball teams at Satellite High and Eastern Florida State College, he still finds time to donate platelets every 2 weeks, 24 times a year.
According to George, the best part of donating is, “knowing that it’s helping people, and working with the people at the blood bank, because their commitment to healing others is so uplifting”. Over the span of 26 years, he’s donated a total of 141 gallons of blood — helping to save approximately 3,384 lives in the process. George is truly a hero, and admired by many in his dedication to the cause.
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
E-I, a handsome golden retriever, was rescued in 2010 and in turn helped rescue other dogs from ill health through the canine blood donor program at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Over 6 years, right up until he passed away this spring at age 9, he gave 26 times, helping to save approximately 70 other dogs. He was always friendly, happy, and excited to donate —and gave great high fives. An inspiration to his fellow four-legged and two-legged human friends, E-I will be much missed.