DAYTON, Ohio - Dayton lawyer and Beavercreek resident Judy LaMusga has shown loyalty, leadership and a "Donor for Life" commitment to Community Blood Center (CBC) and the cause of blood donations. With more than 400 lifetime donations Judy is a "Most Valuable Donor" every time she visits CBC, and she was a deserving VIP at the Sunday, June 29 Dayton Dragons game where she was honored as a Community All-Star.
"For me, it's one more donation," she said after reaching her milestone 400th lifetime donation on April 25. "The fact that it adds up to a big number doesn't mean a thing to me. It's only about another donation that goes to help people."
Judy has been donating apheresis since the early 80's, and her advocacy efforts have helped recruit countless number of other donors. She was an original organizer in the LifeLeader program, which encouraged donors to form teams, set goals and compete for rankings. "I probably started donating apheresis about eight years before the LifeLeaders program came in," she recalled. "I started building LifeLeaders teams. One of mine was called 'Not in Vein.' There was the "Bloodbusters.' They all had clever names."
Judy is CBC's second highest female donor, trailing only Kettering's Katie Ellis in lifetime donations. The Dayton Dragons honored Katie as a Community All-Star last summer after she reached her milestone 400th donation and extended the same honor to Judy this year. Judy and her husband Denny were guests of the Dragons for Sunday's 3-2 win over the Lake County Captains.
"We arrived early and they gave us VIP parking," she said. "An intern named Casey took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium. We went up to the media box, every level, and through the team tunnel. We even ran into Heater and some other kids there. Then we went down onto the field - we had friends in the stands and they waved at us. We took pictures down there and went up to our seats were they had a bag of an unbelievable amount of stuff!"
Judy and Denny sat back and enjoyed the game - at least for about four innings. Rain showers were scattered Sunday, but one found the strike zone at Fifth Third Field, forcing a rain delay. Judy says that was a show in itself. "It was interesting to watch them pull out a tarp an cover the infield in those conditions," she said. "We got drowned! Earlier it was hot and humid, but it's summer, it's what is!"
Baseball and blood donating have something in common to Judy: They are both "what is." No matter what happens, they eventually play ball. Despite up days or down, Judy will keep donating. Her appointments are nearly every two weeks, usually on Fridays. Not this Friday because CBC is closed for the July 4th holiday so her 404th lifetime donation will be during the "Patriotic Parrot Head Beach Party" Thursday, July 3rd - rain or shine!