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Red Cross holding blood drives to honor Bend woman

Hannah Gonterman was diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant, and received 40 blood transfusions to safely give birth to her son.

Posted: Sep 3, 2018 5:04 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2018 6:54 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Fire departments across Southern Oregon are honoring a Bend woman by holding blood drives in her honor.

The American Red Cross has teamed up with fire departments across the region for a blood drive, to honor Hannah Gonterman, who beat leukemia while going through her pregnancy.

Gonterman spent two months at OHSU during her pregnancy, receiving 40 blood transfusions.

Gonterman said that blood saved her and her son, Jennson’s lives.

After giving birth, she received treatment for her leukemia and was given a 98 percent chance that the disease would never return.

Her mom grew up in Sutherlin and her uncle is a fire fighter for Douglas County Fire District Two.

Her dad, Merrill Gonterman, has been a firefighter for 35 years, and is on the board for the Southern Oregon Red Cross.

He said through his daughter’s ordeal, he realized how much of a need there is for blood, and helped organize blood drives in Eugene, Roseburg, and the Medford area to honor his daughter.

“It was just staggering to me, the amount of blood products one person used with leukemia,” Merrill said. “So, that’s what lead me to seeking out the Red Cross and seeing what I could do to help and make this an awareness that everybody has of the amount of blood products that are used.”

The Roseburg blood drive will be happening at the American Red Cross on Garden Valley Boulevard, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 5.

You can set an appointment to donate on the Red Cross website, or you can walk in during the scheduled hours.

During the Roseburg blood drive, you will be entered to win one of two $200 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift cards by signing up.

Here is a list of the other blood drives in Eugene and Medford:

Eugene area:
Sept 5th Eugene/Springfield Fire at Whiteaker Station – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Medford area:
Sept 5th City of Grants Pass/Josephine County at Public Safety Building – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sept 11th City of Ashland at Fire Station # 1 – 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Sept 17th Rogue River Fire District – 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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