| Charles Drew
June 3, 1904 - April 1, 1950
What kind of bank deposit is so valuable it can actually save lives? ....A donation to a blood bank! Thanks to the expertise and determination of Charles Drew, blood donations can now be stored for longer periods of time, extending their ability to save the lives of people who desperately need them. In North America, every year, over five million people receive blood transfusions from stored donations. Just a single pint of blood can save three lives!
The Great Idea Finder website profile:
At the time Drew began his work with blood banking, stored blood would last a mere seven days. This placed a strain on blood supplies, and donors were often called in on short notice to provide emergency donations. Sometimes this resulted in direct contact between the donor and recipient-an occurrence that was not only uncomfortable but also held the potential for contamination. Drew's discovery changed all that. He first separated the donated blood into its key components, the near solid plasma and liquid red blood cells. Drew then froze those components individually, which allowed them to be preserved and reconstituted for use at a much later date. Thanks to Drew's revolutionary approach, red blood cells can currently be stored for 42 days-and frozen plasma can be stored for a full year!
phillyBurbs.com Profiles in Black History series:
US Patent and Trademark Office press release about Drew's blood preservation method:
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Helped to Develop MADD
Laura Lamb was just five and a half months old when a drunk driver plowed into the red pickup driven by her mother, Cindy Lamb. It was a terrible accident, breaking 14 bones in Cindy’s body. Laura survived the collision, but became a quadriplegic - America's youngest. The drunk driver had five prior convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) with no license and no insurance. Cindy devoted the next 6 years to Laura's care, seeing to it that her young daughter had as normal a life as possible. In between repeated medical treatments and surgeries, sometimes via helicopter, Laura was like any other youngster, once elbowing her sister Jennifer in the eye after an argument and later sneaking out of the house in her wheelchair by taking the elevator downstairs, and going for a spin outside! Laura was a feisty, spirited youngster, but the damage from her injuries eventually caught up with her. Laura died at age six. in 1980, Cindy helped co-found the organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which now has over 600 chapters and three million supporters. MADD 's efforts are a large reason drunk driving deaths have decreased (although they still exist and should be zero). Cindy Lamb has made appearances on TV to campaign for tougher drunk driving laws and has been interviewed on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and 20/20.
University of Akron reference
US Department of Justice entry
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Founder of The Lasker Foundation
November 30, 1900 – February 21, 1994
Think you're too old for nursery rhymes? How about “Mary and her little lambs”? In this case, it's a real story of devotion and commitment by Mary Lasker to the funding of medical research. Mary, along with her husband Albert, were pioneers in the field of fund raising for medicine. She became so prominent in this regard that her critics started labeling her projects as “little lambs.” Mary's efforts played a key role in the creation and expansion of the National Institutes of Health, whose budget rocketed upward by 300 fold in a short period of time, from three million dollars to 1 billion dollars. Together with her husband, Mary founded The Lasker Foundation, which plays a pivotal role in recognizing and promoting important contributions to medical research by scientists throughout the world. Lasker supported President Truman's efforts to establish a system of universal health insurance, fighting the voices who labeled such coverage “socialized medicine”, and strongly backed the legislation behind Medicare in the 1960s. Lasker was also Secretary of Planned Parenthood. Her devotion to find the cure for diseases was so strong that she even sold most of her collection of artworks to raise needed funds. Her memorable quote about this was, “Without money, nothing gets done.” She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 as well as the Congressional Medal of Honor in the same year. She and her husband live on in the form of America's most well known medical awards. The Lasker Awards are given each year by The Lasker Foundation and are considered by some to be "America's Nobel Prizes."
National Library of Medicine resource
Columbia University cite
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