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Man’s Best Friend’ Inspires Blood Drive

By Mike Peacock
Armed Services Blood Bank Center – Europe

LANDSTUHL, Germany – Holly-Eva, a five-year-old boxer and her bad knees motivated more than 100 people to donate blood at a drive held last month at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany.

Click photo for screen-resolution image 

The drive collected 109 units of whole blood for the Armed Services Blood Program, making it the largest held in Wiesbaden in more than five years, said Air Force Maj. Madelaine Sumera, chief of the Armed Services Blood Bank Center – Europe which is based here.

“I had made the decision … that one way or the other — if Holly lived or died — I would try to put on a blood drive in her honor,” said Holly-Eva’s best friend, Army 1st Sgt. Clark Kuhling, of Company B, 24th Military Intelligence Battalion.

In the summer of 2010, Holly-Eva blew out the anterior cruciate ligament in two of her knees. The first surgery for knee implants went perfectly, said Kuhling. A couple of months later she underwent the second.

One of her knees healed, but Holly-Eva experienced many problems with the other. Medications failed to fight infection and a decision was made to remove the implant in the bad knee.

Before the surgery, Holly-Eva’s body started to attack itself, said Kuhling, who has had the boxer since she was a puppy.  Then, her liver started to fail. A blood transfusion was performed but her condition only worsened. The vet told Kuhling the only hope was a transfusion of concentrated human plasma.

Kuhling set out to see if he could find this within the U.S. military and was directed to the blood bank at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center here.

“They really wanted to help, but because Holly-Eva was not a working dog, they were not able to, due to regulations,” Kuhling said. “As this was happening, I had a dozen or so friends and coworkers state that they would give blood right then and there, if needed.”

Then, Kuhling was told by the vet Holly-Eva was responding to the transfusion of canine blood, meaning the human plasma would not be needed. The boxer recovered and is in great health now, Kuhling said.

After returning from a deployment to Afghanistan in January, Kuhling enlisted help from throughout the Wiesbaden military community to advertise and promote the historic blood drive, attended by his pal Holly-Eva, complete with photos of the boxer for every blood donor.

Related Sites:
Armed Services Blood Program

Click photo for screen-resolution image Holly-Eva takes it easy and keeps warm with her “Be A Hero, Save A Life” sweater on. The five-year-old boxer was the inspiration for one of the largest blood drives at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany. Photo courtesy of Army 1st Sgt. Clark Kuhling  

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About Posted by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer. In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials. Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat. Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republicanand The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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