KEARNEYSVILLE – Though more than a year has passed since the death of 58-year-old teacher and florist Cynthia Snyder, her passion for life remains front and center as loved ones hold another blood drive in her memory.
Snyder, a Martinsburg native who fought a rare blood disease through most of her life, is the inspiration behind a blood drive set for Monday afternoon in Kearneysville.
After Cynthia’s death on July 6, 2011, family members set a goal of collecting 500 units of blood in her memory. The 500-unit goal is roughly the amount Cynthia needed during her lifetime, according to Lee Snyder, her husband of more than three decades, and the couple’s niece and nephew, Mia Norton and Rod Snyder, and other family members organizing Monday’s blood drive.
Four previous Cynthia’s Drive blood drives – including the most recent one, held in May at her church, First Baptist of Martinsburg – have netted some 267 units toward the goal.
Monday’s blood drive happens from noon to 6 p.m. at Lee Snyder’s business, Snyder Environmental Services at 270 Industrial Blvd.
Family members say that Cynthia pursued a full life despite having been diagnosed as as a newborn with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a failure of bone marrow to produce necessary red blood cells. Later, she also survived bouts with breast, skin and colon cancer.
Thanks to experimental drug regimens and regular blood transfusions, Cynthia was able to graduate from Martinsburg High School in 1970 and then in 1974 earn a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from then-Shepherd College.
She taught fourth grade at Wright Denny Elementary School in Charles Town for a decade and then opened and a flower and gift shop in Ranson.
Civic involvement also was important to Cynthia. She was a member of the Charles Town Junior Woman’s Club, the Charles Town Rotary Club, the Dolley Madison Garden Club, Jefferson County Cotillion Club and the Hospice Inpatient Facility Campaign Committee.
In her later years, transfusions and other treatments had only limited success in keeping Cynthia in good health. She was hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for nearly a month before her death.
To schedule an appointment for Monday’s blood drive, call 800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.
Even those who cannot make it to Kearneysville on Monday still can give blood in Cynthia’s name. To give blood at any Red Cross drive and have it count as part of Cynthia’s Drive, donors should go online to the Red Cross site and find the tab Make a Donation on the right side of the screen, then use the sponsor code SNYDER.
Said Lee Snyder: “Our family thanks those who have already given donations at previous local memorial blood drives and elsewhere in our country. Your continued support benefits many patients in need.”
According to American Red Cross officials, donors at Monday’s blood drive will help patients across a 100-county region.