Why I Do What I Do: Lynn Werts
Back in the fall of 2009, I was sitting in the chair at a blood drive giving blood, like I had always done, discussing The Community Blood Center with Theresa Kochalka. I found the organization so interesting and touching that I asked her to pass my resume’ along. She did just that and two months later I became her co-worker. I just felt like the blood center was a perfect fit for me and what our family had been through with my own son. Neil was born in 1994 and was sick almost immediately. He was diagnosed with acute monacidic leukemia at just ten weeks of age and began chemo the next day. It was a long hard year where Eggleston Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta became our home. But after two bone marrow transplants, his little body couldn’t handle anymore and he died two weeks after his 1st birthday. You can’t even imagine how many blood products he received during this time. Each and every time, it was so critical for him to get the products he needed. I knew I could help give back what was so generously and freely given to him during our time of struggling with the simple things in life. I knew there was a donor somewhere that had contributed to extending his life as long as possible. At one point, he needed blood and there was none in the state of Georgia for him. I see how important people in your life become. You just cling to every bit of hope there is. With someone giving blood to help your family member, friend, acquaintance or who ever, it helps you to hold on and know that everything is being done to save a life.
At the time, I didn’t even realize what a life changing event it was for my other son Brent, who was three at the time. He is now 20 years old and has held two blood drives and is planning another for the end of September. Brent couldn’t wait until he was old enough to give blood. At an early age, he realized the impact giving blood has on others and what it means to contribute something from yourself to give back to someone in need.
Working at The Blood Center really drives our purpose home for me. It’s not what you do; it’s how you help others. It’s truly amazing to me the dedication of our donors and our employees. It’s not just a job here at CBCC, it real life – helping others.