We here at Unyts love meeting and getting to know our blood donors. We love hearing what brings them in to donate and what keeps them coming back. We were especially interested in one family when we learned that there were three generations coming in to support Unyts.
Christine Lemke and her daughter Denise Lemke have been donating for the past 10 years, but 2016 brought about a milestone when Christine's granddaughter (Denise's daughter), Dyana decided she wanted to start donating as well.
"My grandson loves all the Buffalo sports teams and he wanted one of the Bills posters and Sabres pucks so Denise asked me if I would donate with her," Christine explained. "I hadn't donated in years but went for my grandson and then we just kept doing it."
When Dyana turned 16 in July she told her mom Denise that she wanted to start donating and the three of them headed to Southgate Plaza where Dyana donated for the first time.
"It was a painless experience and we've already been back to donate since that first time," Christine said. "The incentives are great, but the best, is knowing you've helped someone in need."
Headquartered in downtown Buffalo and established in 1981.
Unyts is among the leading procurement organizations in the United States, and is one of the only eight centers nationwide to house organ, tissue and eye procurement in one location. With the addition of Community Blood Service, Unyts has become the first organization of its kind nationwide. Unyts operates as a non-profit serving the eight counties of Western New York and works to assist donor families, coordinate the donation process and increase knowledge and awareness within the community regarding transplantation.
Unyts routinely has helped to secure higher rates of donation in Western New York than the national average. When approached following the death of a loved-one for organ donation, Western New York families are very generous. In 2014 the Unyts conversion rate was 81.5%– the national average was 63.2%. Due to these numbers, Unyts is ranked as one of the top procurement organizations nationwide. As recently as 1997, Unyts had just 200 donors; in 2014 the organization surpassed 1,200.
The organization’s network and success have gone hand-in-hand, and as a result, Unyts has been able to spread the message that transplantation is vital – and transplantation saves lives. Unyts is currently headed by President & CEO Mark Simon, and Chair of the Board of Directors David Carlson.
*As of January 1, 2012, Unyts operates under, d/b/a Unyts, WNY’s only Organ, Eye, Tissue and Community Blood Center. We are no longer Upstate NY Transplant Services.
Official partner of the Buffalo Bills
110 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14203