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It Could Have Ended That Day
By Jeffery Diffy, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, North Chicago, Ill.
Seaman Recruit Christina Cavender donated blood with the Armed Services Blood Program while attending boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill. Her donation was in support of her own father who was seriously injured in an automobile accident many years ago, and survived, in part due to blood donations from others.
Seaman Recruit Christina Cavender is lucky to be here. She is lucky to have the chance to serve in the U.S. Navy. While she has never suffered serious injury, her father Terry Cavender did.
“I will always donate blood to help others,” she said. “My father needed blood and medical intervention after a horrific accident many years ago.”
Terry Cavender was struck by a truck after a party in 1983 and dragged down the road 20 yards before the driver stopped. His list of injuries was severe and surgery was needed immediately. He was flown expeditiously to the trauma center.
“He flat-lined several times on the table (during his surgery),” Christina Cavender said. “He woke up several days later not realizing what had happened. My own grandfather would not speak about what happened.”
Christina Cavender also described the replacement bones he was given that were made from steel. Not only were blood donations needed immediately after his accident, they were needed throughout his surgery to replace broken and destroyed bones.
“My parents had yet to meet when my dad had his accident, but they met afterwards. My dad was still in physical therapy 12 years later while I was growing up,” she said. “He continues to have ongoing needs, but is doing well. Next up is a knee replacement for him.
“I’m very thankful for all the blood donors and that’s also why I donate blood. Someone else can know they are helping someone’s mother, father, sister or someone else.
Before she joined the Navy, Christina Cavender attended college at Marshall University and worked two jobs. She said she loved teaching at the day care every day and giving back. After boot camp, she’ll travel to Dam Neck, Va., to attend her “A” school.
“I’m just happy my dad made it through his accident and is doing well today,” she said. “It took many bags of blood and many metal rods in his body to get him here, but I’m thankful he made it.”
About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit
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