Bellefontaine Examiner

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Saving lives a bus at a time

Local organizer appreciates blood donors

melody-couchman

ABOVE: Melody Couchman is seen through plant displays Saturday morning at Wren’s, marking off registrants for her seventh CBC blood drive. Her reflection can be seen in the mirror at the top of the photo; FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Community Blood Center buses parked Saturday morning outside Wren’s for a blood drive organized by Ms. Couchman. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | MIRIAM BAIER)

Don’t confuse Melody Couchman’s weekend project involving two buses with “fill-the-bus” campaigns typically aligned with the beginning of school to provide needed supplies for children.

Although the school-related project is important in its own right, her campaign was one in which people’s lives were saved — 204 to be exact.

In conjunction with the Community Blood Center, Ms. Couchman organized a blood drive that saw two buses accommodate some 79 registered donors from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Saturday at her place of business, Wren’s Florist and Greenhouse, 500 E. Columbus Ave.

At least five first-time donors were noted and a total of 10 donors were deferred for various reasons. Each unit collected saves the lives of three people.

Blood drives and blood are very important to Ms. Couchman, who is a cancer survivor. Her deferred blood donation because of a low iron count in 2007 prompted her to make a doctor’s appointment which led to a diagnosis of leukemia. Her ensuing week-long hospitalized treatment involved blood transfusions. Cancer patients frequently need blood during their treatments.

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