Snyder’s memory lives on in blood drive

MARTINSBURG – Sign up to give blood Thursday in Martinsburg and you’ll be honoring the memory of Cynthia Snyder, a well-loved Jefferson County teacher and florist who died last year after battling Diamond Blackfan Anemia for decades.

Her survivors say they’ll continue to organize blood drives in Snyder’s memory with the goal of bringing in to the Red Cross more than the amount of blood that Snyder needed during her lifetime.

The wife of Jefferson County business leader Lee Snyder, the 58-year-old died July 6, 2011. She is remembered by many across the Panhandle for her work as a teacher at Wright Denny. She also owned Cynthia’s Flowers and Gifts in Ranson for 17 years.

Thursday’s blood drive, sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Martinsburg, will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 301 Foxcroft Ave. Each donor will get a potted plant in Snyder’s memory.

She suffered from a rare bone marrow disease that required monthly blood transfusions for much of her life. Diagnosed with the anemia as a newborn, she began getting blood transfusions at only 8 weeks of age.

According to her husband, she was able to tolerate the anemia up into her mid-20s when she had to try experimental drug therapy, which pushed her anemia into remission for more than 20 years.

In 2002 the drug therapy became ineffective and she again became reliant on blood transfusions. The frequency of these transfusions increased over time up to the point that Cynthia required two units of blood every three weeks.

Said Snyder of his late wife: “Cynthia was always thankful for the gift of life she received from those who donate blood.”

For more, go to www.cynthiasdrive.org.

Want to go?

To schedule an appointment for Thursday’s blood drive or any other American Red Cross blood drive, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

Online, anyone may sign up for the drive in Snyder’s memory by clicking Make a Donation on the right side of the screen, entering Zip code 25401 and choosing the Thursday date.

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