One of Mentor's newest businesses doesn't need to tout its employees as heroes. BioLife Plasma Services has families from all over the country taking care of that.
As part of the plasma therapy provider's grand opening ceremony this week, a family from the Peoria, Ill. area told a crowd of city officials and Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce members about the kind of company they should expect with the arrival of BioLife.
"Some of the people in this room saved my children's lives," Dana Fladhammer told the crowd.
The Fladhammer family has three children who were each born with immunodeficiency. Despite years of struggle — 120 sick visits to the doctor in less than a year at one point — Fladhammer says the children each began piecing their lives together after receiving plasma treatment through Baxter, BioLife's parent company.
"For eight years, I've been taking the same medicine," 11-year-old Charles Fladhammer said. "Without the donors, the centers and employees, I wouldn't be able to live this life."
Dennis Young, Baxter's vice president of operations, said BioLife's Mentor property, 5656 Emerald Court, is a $6 million investment. It will eventually employee between 50 to 75 full-time employees.
The plasma that BioLife uses can only come from humans. Donors will receive about $30 for their contributions, for an annual total of about $2 million, Young said. He likened that amount to the company paying for another 50 or so employees.
"Truly, Plasma is a miracle product for us that allows us to save very many lives across the world," Young said, "but we have a great economic story here, as well … I guess in this day in age, I would call this a great local stimulus package."
Though people at the event praised the addition of another economic driver to the community, most focused on the touching story of the family from Illinois. The second-youngest Fladhammer left workers at the new Mentor facility with a last bit of advice from his own experience.
"Don't think of yourself as just an employee, a technician or a donor," 8-year-old Thomas Fladhammer said. "Think of yourself as a hero."
For more information, visit BioLife's site by clicking here.