Life Medical Response fundraiser for local cancer patient

By Frank Lewis

June 19, 2014

By Frank Lewis


Life Medical Response is back in the business of serving the community in the same capacity they became known for over the many years they were Life Ambulance, and, it will come as no surprise, they’re getting involved in helping a local family.

“Roger Donini is a long time friend of ours,” Michael Pistole, Jr., Chief Operations Officer, said. “We went to church with him for years. He works at the (Southern Ohio Medical Center) Urgent Care here in Portsmouth. He’s been there for 15 or 20 years. He’s got six children, four of which all came at the same time, his wife had quadruplets. He’s a good Christian man and he’s going to be off work for about two months with no income.”

Pistole said doctors found a cancerous mass on Donini’s kidney resulting in surgery on June 17.

“We’ve got a goal set to raise $10,000 to try to carry him through the two months that he’s going to be off work, to help feed his family and pay his bills and stuff like that,” Pistole said.

Pistole said several events are planned to help raise money for Donini’s family and to give people a chance to have some fun at the same time.

“We’re doing helicopter rides on July 5, but there’s only so many we have available,” Pistole said. “The tickets can be purchased here (1106 Union St., in Portsmouth). They are $25 per person and they’re going to be available while they last.”

The second thing Life is doing to raise money is a golf ball drop.

“Our goal is to sell 2,000 numbered golf balls at $5 each between now and when we do the drop also on July 5,” Pistole said. “The person purchases a number. Their name and phone number will be put on a spreadsheet. We drop them from a helicopter about 500 feet above at a designated pin in the middle of the field. The person whose golf ball is closest to the pin will win $500.”

Pistole said the golf balls will also be available at Life Medical Response headquarters, but he is also in the process of lining up businesses to help by selling the golf balls in their businesses.

The day of the event, July 5, Life will also have their famous grill going full heat and they will be cooking hamburgers and hot dogs with all the sides, for donations. Except for the golf ball drop, everything - helicopter rides, cookout, and related events will all take place at their headquarters, located between Offnere Street and Gay Street at the very recognizable helipad.

“It’s going to be our open house also,” Pistole said. “The more people we can get in that day to make their donations the more money we’re going to try to raise. We may surpass the $10,000 mark. We may go beyond that, I hope.”

Pistole said the goal of Life Medical Response is to return to the same service Life was known for prior to the original company being sold in 2011.

“We’re back like the old Life that the community has come to know over the past 26 years from 1985 to 2011 with all the community involvement, the events, the grill. the buses, the trains in the parades and all the stuff,” Pistole said.”It’s all back. It’s unfortunate the company that purchased Life in June of 2011 wasn’t able to provide all that stuff. But we’re bringing it all back now.”


Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.