When Bruce Bahr volunteered to be on the Gala Committee for the American Red Cross of Central South Carolina, he never dreamed he would soon become the recipient of its services. But that is just what happened.
Bruce Bahr and Libby Anne Inabinet
A few months ago Bahr was diagnosed with leukemia. At the hospital, he kept encountering the same situation—a critically low stock of blood and platelets that he desperately needed.
Bahr recalled, “When I first arrived in July, I needed five or six blood transfusions just to get my strength and color up because I was so anemic,” He added that on one of the 48 days he spent in the hospital, the hospital actually ran out of platelets and Bahr had to wait for a shipment from another state.
This prompted Bahr to get on his laptop and begin writing emails to friends, family and organizations like the American Red Cross, asking for help for the dozens of blood transfusions he still needed.
“It's been a blessing to see so many people respond,” Bahr says. He was especially touched when his employer, Coldwell Banker United Realtors, held a blood drive in his name. Nineteen of his 55 co-workers underwent the long, uncomfortable process to donate the platelets that he really needed.
Libby Anne Inabinet, chief development officer at the Red Cross chapter, is a Bruch Bahr fan. She talks about the dedication and energy Bruce brought to the Gala Committee.
Irony has played a major role in Bahr's life because he gave so much to his community through his charitable endeavors, and in return he received much needed donations of precious blood and platelets donations from that same community.
Bahr has just one more therapy session round to go, which will include yet more platelet transfusions. That means beforehand, he will send out another round of emails asking for donations. “People think that if there hasn't been a natural disaster, they don't need to donate,” Bahr observes, “But they forget about the people waiting in the hospital every day.”
Due to the generosity of his family and friends, including his close association with the Red Cross chapter, and staunch support from his employer, Bahr hopes to have a ready supply of blood and platelets on hand by late January.
After Bahr has fully recovered from leukemia, he will most likely resume doing what he loves best—working, donating and volunteering to help others.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.