Jennifer's Heroes: Pennie Johnston

By: Jennifer Black Email
By: Jennifer Black Email

November 5, 2009

Pennie Johnston donated enough blood to fill up four one gallon containers, and that is just in the past three years. The fact that Pennie literally gives a little big of herself to others is what makes her this week's hero.

"I lost a brother when he was young, and ever since then I've felt the need to do something to help others, and giving blood is a very simple thing to do," said Johnston.

Pennie first gave the gift of life in high school, and ever since then, she has been hooked. She helps Virginia Blood Services fulfill the 400 daily donations required to meet the needs of hospitals throughout central Virginia.

"Pennie is really a family member of Virginia Blood Services. We need regular blood donors and she is just that," said Brian Chandler.

About once a month, Pennie pays a visit to Virginia Blood Services to donate platelets, a longer process than giving blood. But that is not all. Pennie has also donated her bone marrow to a young girl with the worst form of Leukemia.

"When the patient was finally strong enough to accept the bone marrow, I was scheduled for the procedure. All I know, is she's a 16-year-old girl and I don't know where she is. I did get a report that she was stronger, she was off of dialysis and off of the respirator, so she was able to breath on her own, and her kidneys were functioning," said Johnston.

In donating blood, platelets, and bone marrow, Pennie Johnston is not only passing on a little piece of herself, she's passing on the traits of a hero.

If you have a hero, Jen would love to help share their story. Shoot Jen an email at and you could see your hero featured on the CBS19 News at 6.

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