Annual Drive Honoring Local Teen Helps Save Thousands of Lives
If you ask those close to Paul Seiter what they remember most about him, they may tell you about the times he performed Chris Farley routines or his spot-on impression of Sean Connery reading a chapter from the Bible’s Song of Songs.
The witty 19-year-old Mason High School senior who loved making those around him laugh with his aptitude for spur-of-the-moment reenactments of Saturday Night Live sketches, probably never guessed that because of him thousands of local lives would be saved.
When Paul was 16-years-old and had just come back from Ichthus, a Christian Music Festival in Kentucky, he was diagnosed with Leukemia.
He spent 72 days in the hospital after his diagnosis.
“He went into a coma during this time and surprised the doctors when he recovered,” said Steve Seiter, Paul’s father. “He never complained. Never said, ‘why me?’ God was definitely watching over him.”
Paul spent more than 500 days total in the hospital in the next three years and doctors believed he was in remission.
Shortly before Paul was diagnosed, he reached the rank of Life in Boy Scout Troop 43. Three years later he received approval to move forward with his Eagle project: a community blood drive with Hoxworth Blood Center.
Before the drive took place, he traveled back to Wilmer, Ky. to attend Ichthus again, but this time as an Adult Leader for the youth group.
Paul told another leader on the Thursday night they arrived, “it took me three years to get back, but I’m back.”
When Paul’s father tried to wake him the next day, he was unresponsive. Paul had succumbed to his illness at age 19.
“We, including his doctor, were shocked as we thought he was in remission,” said Steve.
The autopsy showed his cancer had returned.
“If there was ever a place to leave this world what better place than at a Christian Music Festival with 20,000 other believers?” said Steve.
Paul died before he was able to complete his Eagle project but that didn’t stop him from saving thousands of lives.
“As a patient himself, Paul witnessed the importance of keeping our community blood supply at safe levels,” Steve said. “During his illness, Paul was the recipient of over 250 units of blood and platelets. Without these units, (he) would not have survived the first 30 days of his diagnoses.”
Paul’s friends and family have held an annual memorial blood drive the past 13 years to honor Paul and his mission to help others.
In that time, generous donors have saved more than 8,000 lives.
For more information on the memorial blood drive, call (513) 256-3092 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.