Lehigh Valley

Save a life, honor a life: Bloodmobile honors Lehigh County man's legacy

Save a life, honor a life:...

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - It was a surreal moment for Deana Leibensperger as she donated blood in the blood mobile dedicated to her son, Wayne, Saturday morning.

"He had once said he wondered how many lives he could save in his lifetime," said Leibensperger.

Deana lost her son three years ago.  The Salisbury Township man was just 21-years-old, killed in a car crash on Route 22.  On Saturday, his life and legacy were honored as Miller-Keystone Blood Center unveiled its newest blood mobile.

 

"We can't think of a better way to represent our son and his dedication to this cause," said Leibensperger.

Wayne was an avid donor, giving blood faithfully every eight weeks at Miller-Keystone. 

His name and face are highlighted on the side of the 35-foot coach, along with a phrase his mother says she heard often.

 

"He used to always come home from giving blood and show us the bandage on his arm and say, 'look mom, I saved a life today."

Miller-Keystone says the blood mobiles are not cheap.  They cost about $200,000 and the fundraising for this particular coach started in 2014, with the Leibenspergers leading the charge.

"There's been a tireless effort from the family and friends of Wayne as well as a tremendous outpouring of support from the community," said Michael McShane,
Senior Director of Recruitment, Development & Marketing for Miller-Keystone.

McShane says Wayne's bloodmobile is expected to collect more than 2,500 units of blood and save thousands of lives every year.

"60 percent of the blood we collect here at Miller-Keystone is done on mobile drives so it's very, very critical."


It's a critical cause close to the Leibenspergers' hearts, where they also hold the memory of their beloved Wayne whose generosity and compassion is now coming full circle through the Wayne Leibensperger Jr. Memorial Bloodmobile.

"I feel good because his legacy is living on,"
said Leibensperger.

 

Miller-Keystone Blood Center says it takes 450 donors a day to supply the local hospitals and only three to five percent of the eligible population donates.

 

Information on how to donate can be found on the Miller-Keystone website.


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