Thurston-Mason Advisory Council keeps blood drives rolling!

October 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm
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Members of the Thurston-Mason Advisory Council

BloodworksNW’s Thurston-Mason Advisory Council is comprised of 20 civic leaders, current and former elected officials, and longtime blood donors who raise funds and advance the interests of BloodworksNW in the South Sound.

The council recently hosted a breakfast at St. Martin’s University to raise funds for a new bloodmobile for use in Thurston, Mason, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties. In Mason and Thurston Counties, nearly 50% of the blood donated by community members is collected using bloodmobiles and workplace giving sites.

The new bloodmobile will increase our annual blood supply by 1,500 units – enough to save up to 4,500 lives!

Hunter Goodman, Washington’s Secretary of the Senate, shared his emotional journey at the event in a moving speech, excerpted below.  He was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in 2012, and donated blood has been an integral part of his ongoing treatment.

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Ralph Munro, Toni Camp, and Sarah and Hunter Goodman

For me, Bloodworks is personal. Bloodworks quite honestly played a significant role in saving my life. Fortunately, I have been a client of Bloodworks on several occasions.

I know, you may be asking yourself how the necessity of a life-saving blood transfusion can ever be perceived as good fortune. Well, by fortunate I mean I was blessed with a great resource, a resource that is dedicated to saving and improving lives all across our region.

For me, Bloodworks and their mission are very real. I have spent the last 3 1/2 years fighting cancer. I have had four surgeries, 26 radiation treatments, and have endured —  and continue to endure — chemotherapy, and during each of these treatment protocols I have required the gift of blood.

Blood from someone I will never know, someone so selfless that they quite literally gave of themselves to save a stranger’s life.

I needed a transfusion during two of my surgeries, and several times post-op I have needed blood after rigorous chemo treatment, as I was left anemic and in dire need of a transfusion, and I stand before you this morning as one of the thousands of lives daily that depend upon Bloodworks and its generous donors for a safe and dependable blood supply.

I stand here this morning, though not by myself – I owe a great deal to the team that has put me back together time and time again: oncologists, surgeons of many different specialties, nurses, physical therapists, radiologists, my friends and family, but the two most significant people throughout my recovery without question have been my dear wife Sarah and my son Grayson, for they have endured the battle that cancer wages against the patient and their loved ones, they have truly been the only ones to see me at my absolute worst, they have witnessed firsthand the many indignities that cancer delivers.

They, like me, were not always certain about what the future held, we were not sure if I could endure one more round, could I take another radiation treatment, another month of chemo, or yet another surgery but we fought like heck and do our best to keep moving forward each and every day and I am truly blessed, but even more blessed to have my wife here this morning so please join me in welcoming my wife Sarah this morning, but perhaps more importantly, please join me in thanking this wonderful woman for loving and caring for me and our beautiful son during this challenge.

But, I am here this morning as a survivor, though still undergoing cancer treatment, but more importantly, I stand here this morning as a humble recipient of your many gifts, and I know more than most of my obligation to encourage each of you to support the mission of Bloodworks, specifically, the acquisition of a new mobile bloodmobile, a bloodmobile dedicated to the residents of the South Puget Sound region, a bloodmobile that will substantially increase donor accessibility while increasing our blood supply.

Throughout its 70 year history, Bloodworks has evolved. From its very inception it has been more than just a repository for blood — it has played a role in innovating, whether through its Bone Marrow Program, its Hemophilia Care Program, or through its revolutionary Diagnostic Labs, to name but just a few.  

Bloodworks has a rich and proud history, a legacy of delivering miracles to our most vulnerable at times of great need.

So as I conclude my remarks this morning, I want to begin by thanking each and every one of you for making a commitment to Bloodworks, for taking the time to be here this morning, for ensuring Bloodworks has the resources they need to serve the people of the Puget Sound region.

I thought I would close this morning with a short quote from Henry David Thoreau, one which I felt was appropriate when describing the vital work of Bloodworks. Thoreau said,

If you have built castles in the air, your work need never be lost; that is where they should be, now put the foundations under them.

I think that Thoreau speaks directly to the rich heritage and proud legacy of Blood­ works, for they have dreamed and evolved from the very beginning, truly building castles in the sky, and here we are this morning delighting in yet another opportunity to build their foundation for yet another castle, this time a mobile castle.

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The concept for the new bloodmobile

The breakfast raised $12,000 that day alone, helping us raise over $32,000 in all, but we still have a ways to go.

Do you want to support the Thurston/Mason Bloodmobile? You can contribute in two ways:

  1. Give online – Under “Program to Support,” select “Thurston/Mason Bloodmobile.”
  2. Call (206) 568-3614 and mention the Thurston Mason Bloodmobile.

100% of these donations will fund the bloodmobile.

A huge thanks to Hanson Motors, WSECU, Capital Medical Center, Squaxin Island Tribe, Simpson Lumber, Premera Blue Cross, Providence Health & Services, SW Washington Region, TwinStar Credit Union, and Panorama for sponsoring the event!