By Tim Poe, Red Cross volunteer
In April, Erin Muzechuk arrived at an American Red Cross blood drive set up in New Philadelphia’s New Town Mall and accomplished a goal she set 18 years ago, donating 10 gallons of blood.
This journey began when Erin was just 17 and saw a blood drive poster at Buckeye Career Center. She felt it could be a way to help others. Later, she watched a news story about a man donating his 10th gallon, thought she could do that, too, and hoped to inspire others to donate as well.
At age 35, Erin has reached that goal while inspiring many and saving hundreds of lives.
I asked Erin how she felt upon reaching her goal. “I’m happy that I was able to help so many people,” she said. “When I first started donating, I learned that each pint has the potential to help three people! Ten gallons means I helped up to as many of 240 people! I didn’t realize that until recently.”
Erin plans to continue donating blood but does not have another goal in mind.
Erin spoke of her fantastic experiences donating blood and helping people over the last 18 years. She speaks especially fondly of getting to know Jane Jarvis at Union Hospital, part of the Cleveland Clinic, in Dover, Ohio. “She’s a special lady,” Erin recalled of the hospital’s blood drive program leader.
Erin also spoke highly of her experience with the Red Cross. Her favorite memory is the shock she felt upon being recognized for donating her first gallon when she was 19. She added, “I’m surprised and honored again to hear from the American Red Cross now that I’m 35!”
“We are so thankful for Erin and her commitment to regularly give the gift of life,” said Kim Kroh, Executive Director of the Red Cross of Heartland, Stark and Muskingum Lakes. “Without donors like her, we could not meet the needs of patients across northern Ohio.”
In addition to donating blood, Erin enjoys working at Litty’s Cakes & Cookies in New Philadelphia and spending time with her family and friends, whom she says she loves very much.
For those considering donating blood for the first time, Erin advised, “It’s just a little pinch in the arm, and it doesn’t hurt or take a lot of your time to donate. And you will help save a life!”
If you, too, are inspired by Erin and would like to donate blood, please visit redcrossblood.org.
A Times-Reporter article on Erin’s achievement is here.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, Red Cross volunteer