KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Michael Moore got a phone call last month that brought a few tears to his eyes. The American Red Cross was having its 30th annual holiday blood drive and, like last year, they wanted to honor his daughter.
“She was obviously very well thought of in the community and the Red Cross,” said Moore about his daughter Lisa Zuk who lost a two-year battle to breast cancer in November 2015.
Zuk was a beloved sergeant with Kalamazoo Public Safety, Moore said. She was with the department for 14 years, serving as a K9 handler. She was also blood donor, who received numerous blood products while undergoing treatment. Honoring her with a drive was a great way to keep her memory alive, he said.
“We wanted to honor her,” said Moore during an interview at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo where the drive was held. “Honor her blood donation, honor her as a public safety officer and as a person and community member.”
Like last year’s event, Saturday’s drive was packed with dozens of volunteers, donors, KDPS personnel and even a police dog. Red Cross organizers said an estimated 200 people donated blood.
“That’s 200 pints of blood which will go a long way in making sure patients have the blood they need during the holiday season,” said Red Cross Communications Manager Todd Kulman. “The need for blood doesn’t take a holiday. It’s constant.”
Kulman said the blood drive is timely for the Red Cross. Blood donations are low during the winter months because people are busy during the holidays or the weather’s just too bad to go outside.
“Every two seconds somebody needs a blood transfusion somewhere in the United States,” said Kulman. “This is a great, great way for us to contribute to that and get that going through the holidays.”
Each pint of blood immediately goes to testing after the event, Kulman said. Within the next few days, they’ll be at local hospitals throughout Michigan and the country. During the drive, he and others took time to talk to Moore and share stories about how much Lisa meant to them.
“She was living her dream,” said Moore teary-eyed. “She loved the job. So we’re really really proud of her and obviously we miss her everyday.”