Vital Signs December 2009


Memorial blood drive holds special meaning for Bend Research employee

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This month the American Red Cross launched a new Web site to better serve blood donors, volunteers, blood drive coordinators like you, and all others interested in learning more about blood donation.  The new site, has replaced and offers many new features and benefits.

The new Web site will serve the entire country, but will include a special section for you to access news, events and promotional information from your local Red Cross by simply entering your ZIP code.

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Bend Research held a memorial drive to recognize Summer Stiers who received multiple blood transfusions up until her death in June 2009.

Memorial bood drive holds special meaning for Bend Research employee

As an administrative assistant in the legal department at Bend Research, Kim Plummer takes part in Red Cross blood drives at her work for a number of reasons.  While she has been a blood donor for several years, it wasn’t until her daughter required regular transfusions that the power of her blood donations hit close to home.

Having suffered from an undiagnosed disease resulting in everything from seizures to gastrointestinal bleeding, Plummer’s daughter Summer Stiers spent much of her life in and out of hospitals, including the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, OR.  During the course of her treatment, and in the days leading up to her death in June 2009, Stiers received more than 30 units of blood that helped extend her life.
Earlier this year, Bend Research held a memorial drive shortly after the death of Kim Plummer’s 32-year-old daughter.  At first the company was going to host an “In honor of Summer” drive to help collect blood at a time when Stiers received transfusions on almost a weekly basis.  However, just a few weeks later when Stiers passed away, Bend Research changed the tone of its drive to a tribute, knowing that Summer had encouraged others to give blood often. 
Casey Jager, Bend Research blood drive coordinator, said the blood drive to recognize Stiers was one that attracted people from all areas of the company.  “She [Summer] had a rare disease and I think more people came out to donate when they knew their donations could help someone like Kim’s daughter.”
According to her mother, Stiers was an optimistic individual and shortly before her passing said, “If you haven’t donated [blood], give it a try.  If you have donated, keep on doing it.”  Plummer noted that her daughter’s situation may have helped others realize how donating blood could make a difference.  She also said that she feels indebted to her co-workers for selflessly giving blood every few months.
In addition to the memorial drive, Bend Research continues to host blood drives in its facilities in, and just outside of Bend, OR.  Doug Millard, who coordinates Red Cross drives at the Bend Research process development building, said he feels extremely lucky to have a tight-knit group of blood donors at work who give blood at almost every company drive. 
Special thanks to all the Bend Research employees who donated at the Summer Stiers memorial drive as well as at other company drives throughout the year.
If you are interested in hosting an “in honor of” or “in memory of” blood drive at your organization, school, or business, please contact your Red Cross representative for more information.  Recognition blood drives require signed release forms which are available from your Red Cross representative.  Signed release forms are required for all blood drives where you implicitly or explicitly use a person’s name, information, story or photograph.



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