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Robyn graduated from University of Illinois nursing school in 1974 and we were married the following year. Over the course of the next 42 years of our marriage, we were blessed with 2 beautiful children, Michael and Kimberly. Nursing was the perfect career for Robyn because she befriended everyone she met which allowed her to quickly gain the trust of patients she treated.

In October 2016. Robyn retired and we were looking forward to traveling and spending more time with our kids. Life was good and the world was our oyster... or so we thought.

In July 2017, Robyn experienced shortness of breath and bruised easily. A blood test revealed Robyns platelet count was extremely low, 10,000 versus a range of 150,000 - 450,000 in a healthy person. As a result, Robyn required a minimum of 2 matching platelet transfusions a week. Since platelet donations are not as common as blood, our family stressed and worried every day if matching platelets would be available when Robyn needed them. Two weeks later, in August 2017, Robyn was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and we were told that she needed a bone marrow transplant within 7 months to survive. Unfortunately Robyns MDS quickly converted to a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and in October 2017, two months and a half months after Robyns initial diagnosis, she passed away. 

Robyn's childhood friend said this at her memorial service last year...      "In reflecting on all our shared childhood and adult experiences, the words that surface are compassionate, kind, giving...but most of all humble. Robyn always stepped away from the limelight; she was really good at deflecting attention from her accomplishments to others. Robyn you will see from your perch above how deeply you have touched our lives and left a loving legacy."

Cancers and other serious illnesses are not selective and can impact any family. In our family, the outcome of Robyns treatment did not work out as we would have liked. We never expected to lose Robyn at such a young age especially since she was healthy all of her life. Robyns blood cancer came out of nowhere and she passed away 2 1/2 months after her initial diagnosis.

What our family learned from our personal tragedy is that major illnesses can impact our loved ones at any time. That is why we created the Gregg and Robyn Oshita (GRO) Foundation. Our mission is to inspire individuals, families and companies to donate blood, plasma, and platelets and register to be bone marrow donors to help save lives of loved ones in desperate need as a result of a serious illness, violence, accident and natural disaster.

Please join us in becoming a blood, plasma and platelet donor that will help us save thousands of lives. For individuals making a donation, please let me know. If you are donating at any of the 7 Hoxworth blood centers in Cincinnati, please give the staff the following PR code, PR  1465, so that Hoxworth tracks everyone that donates for our foundation. If you have made a donation outside the Cincinnati area, please send me an email at gregg.oshita@thegrofoundation.org. It will allow us to thank you for your generous donation and allow us to see how effective our foundation is by tracking the number of individual who donate. Please help us by giving the most precious gift of all...the gift of life.

Thank you.

Gregg Oshita & The GRO Foundation