Blood drive donors give gift of life at Cambridge Hyatt

MD-Blood drive donors give gift_bus 3x

Dorchester Banner/Gloria Rojas
The Blood Drive bus awaits customers outside the Hyatt. The next time the bus visits locally it will be at Immanuel Church on Whitehall Road, on Nov. 3 between 1 and 6 p.m.

CAMBRIDGE — On June 30, while on routine patrol in East New Market, Master Trooper Clinton Weems, a 19-year veteran of the Maryland State Police, suffered serious injuries. A car crossed the line on Route 392 and crashed head-on into the trooper’s car. Master Trooper Weems was flown to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma Center where he would need many transfusions, so state troopers and friends launched a high gear, successful blood drive.
Now recovering at home, Trooper Weems doesn’t need more blood donations, but on any day, someone else — you and I, our neighbors, young mothers and children — might. That’s why the blood drive continues its work, and on Tuesday morning made a scheduled stop at the Hyatt Resort.

Suzanne Murray, the Donor Recruiter for the Blood Bank of Delmarva, has a regular route around the Eastern Shore. She comes with a bus staffed by phlebotomists (that means health professionals trained to do the vein puncture and see to the donor’s well-being). The bus is equipped with donation supplies. When their job is completed, Ms. Murray, staff, and bus leave with the blood of 60 donors.

Like Santa, she makes her rounds; unlike Santa, she doesn’t leave gifts, but takes gifts that might mean life for someone in need of transfusions. The Blood Bank bus has regular stops that include churches, schools, and corporations. On Tuesday morning at the Hyatt the variety of volunteers included Shaquira of the service department, who smiled through the procedure except at the moment of the needle entering her arm. Attending her were Jeremy Piazza and Coreen Harris, phlebotomists of the Blood Bank. In the recovery area, where Hyatt’s biggest cookies and candy bars awaited the donors, pastry chef Kaci Pennypacker said, “I have been donating since high school.” Ana DiPisa, a finance department employee, was what Suzanne Murray calls, “new blood.” Jimmy Foster, who cuts grass at the Hyatt, donated blood with a smile.

Suzanne Murray says, “All donors undergo a mini-medical. Blood pressure, pulse, Iron count and temperature are checked.” Suzanne worries about how much blood is available. Sometimes inventories drop. Then the blood bank has to call around to make sure supplies are available. She says.”Only 10 percent of the population donates. If everybody tried, there wouldn’t ever be a problem.” Donated blood is good for 40 days. The bank needs 350 donors a day. Last year, 20,000 people on the Eastern Shore needed blood transfusions.

For anyone in Cambridge, the donation process is made easier by making an appointment on Nov. 3 between 1-6 p.m. That’s when the Blood Bank Bus will be back, this time making a stop at Immanuel Church on White Hall Road, visible from US Rt. 50. Anyone over the age of 17 and up to 79 may donate.

You can get more information at or call 888-8blood8.

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