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Arcadia Real Estate Professional Gives His Life Blood to Help Others

May 31, 2010 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Arcadia commercial real estate professional Lawrence A. Lippincott saves lives through his frequent donation of blood platelets.

The platelets, which are a part of the blood that enables clotting after a cut, scrape or other injury, are most often needed by cancer patients.

“There’s definitely a shortage of platelets because it takes about two to two and a half hours to donate them each week,” Lippincott said. “I think most people who do this donate whole blood, which only takes about 15 minutes.”

Lippincott donates platelets about once per week at United Blood Services’ Commerce Center location at 1405 N. Hayden in Scottsdale.

He said donating blood is a comfortable and easy way to give back to the community.

“They make you as comfortable as possible. You get a snack and beverages afterwards. You can read, listen to music or watch TV,” Lippincott said. “The room has to be kept cool because of the blood products, so they put heating pads on your back and a blanket over you.”

He said blood donation is even more convenient for him because of the slow commercial real estate industry in the valley.

“You’re giving blood so it’s not a form of economic hardship on a family or a person,” Lippincott said. “It’s not like giving aid to Afghanistan where sometimes it ends up stuck on the dock, they’ve bought the wrong products and it goes to waste because there’s a lot of bureaucracy. But you know this blood goes to a good cause. We’re saving lives.”

Lippincott said he has been donating blood on a volunteer basis for over 20 years.

“I had just moved to California and gotten a job as a shopping center manager,” he said. “I just saw one of those blood mobiles and decided to donate. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Scottsdale real estate professional Branden Lombardi said he relied on donated blood during his three-year battle against bone cancer, which was diagnosed at age 17.

“You have to be very conscious of your blood counts while going through treatments because the idea behind chemotherapy is to target all rapidly dividing cells in order to kill the cancer,” Lombardi said. “It also kills the white blood cells that help you fight infection, the red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout your body and the platelets which help prevent blood from flowing when you cut or scrape yourself or brush your teeth too hard.”

He said he received frequent transfusions of red blood cells and platelets after each of his chemotherapy treatments.

Lombardi said a stem cell transplant put his cancer into remission.

“They gave me ultra-high doses of chemotherapy to wipe out all the cancer,” Lombardi said. “When I was done with the chemotherapy, they introduced the stem cells into my body with the idea of building me back up.”

“After the transplant, I received daily transfusions of red blood cells and platelets to help me recover faster,” he said.

At age 29, Lombardi said he appreciates the generosity of blood donors like Lippincott.

“I’m not speaking hypothetically when I say blood donors helped save my life,” he said. “In October I will have been nine years post-transplant, there have been no reoccurrences of cancer, and I am as happy and healthy as anyone can be.”

Sue Thew, media and public relations specialist with United Blood Services, said the demand for blood in the valley always outstrips supply, especially for platelets.

“We fill the needs of 54 hospitals in this state and it takes about 700 blood donors each day to do that,” she said.

Thew said United Blood Services always finds a way to meet the needs of the community.

“Arizona is quickly becoming the epicenter for cancer research and modern medical treatments,” Thew said. “The increased demand in platelet transfusions for those patients is currently being met with the assistance of out-of-state resources. To accommodate this surge, we are expanding facilities for platelet donations and are actively looking for more platelet donors.”

She said it’s a race against time.

“Platelets have a shelf life of five days,” Thew said. “The first 24 to 36 hours are spent testing and preparing the platelets, so we don’t have much time to get those donations to the people who need them most.”

Thew said platelets are just one of several possible ways to donate blood.

“You can also give red blood cells, plasma or whole blood, with whole blood taking as few as 15 minutes to donate,” said Thew. “The component of your blood you would be donating depends on your blood type and our most pressing needs.”

Thew said she recommends anyone interested in donating blood to call United Blood Services at 877-448-4483 or visit the organization’s website at

“I’m happy to be giving something that I know is going 100 percent to the end user,” Lippincott said. “I think the important thing is that it’s not about me. It’s about getting the word out that there is a shortage in the community and there’s always a need. This is something people can do to give when money is tight.”

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New Downtown Court Tower Design Aims to Protect Crime Victims

May 1, 2010 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

This story, which I originally wrote for my news writing class, was just published on a local news website.

The new Maricopa County Court Tower will be designed to safeguard the rights of crime victims.

The 16-story tower located at the corner of First Avenue and Madison Street in downtown Phoenix is slated for a Feb. 2012 opening.

Criminal court administrator Bob James said separation of defendants and victims is a key design feature of the new building.

“We have provided spaces that are private for the use of victims,” James said. “If a person is uncomfortable with being in the courtroom, they can be in
an adjacent victims’ room where they can watch all the proceedings.”

He said this separation is important in areas people might not think about.

“Victims told us that sometimes they feel apprehensive when they have to use the bathroom,” James said. “The nearest restroom may be where the defendant
or his or her family goes.”

He said the victims’ rooms address this concern by providing separate restroom facilities.

James said every effort has been taken to maintain separation when victims must appear in open court.

“If the prosecutors decide the victim needs to testify, they would actually need to come into the courtroom,” James said. “But, even then, we’ve created
an entrance separate from the gallery or the one used by defendants.”

James said security is critical in a courthouse that will also hold defendants whose cases are coming up for trial.

“One of the lower levels will be a holding facility for the Sharif’s department,” James said. “They will have the holding capacity for up to 1,400 defendants.
so the only time the traffic flow of the in-custody defendants meets with the judges, staff and the public is in the courtroom itself.”

Special Court Counsel Jessica Funkhouser said the need for separation of defendants from victims goes beyond comfort and safety.

“Victims are regularly cautioned by judges and prosecutors to avoid showing their emotions in the courtroom so as not to cause a mistrial,” Funkhouser said.
“They can retreat to the victims’ room and watch the trial on a video monitor without having to worry about the jury or anyone else in the courtroom seeing

Criminal defense attorney Michael V. Black said he has reservations about the preferential treatment of crime victims in the courthouse.

“There’s a whole lot of types of victims and they’re just another witness,” Black said. “I don’t see why they should be given any more consideration than
an ordinary witness in a particular case. If they treated everyone the same, that would be fine with me.”

He said he would be concerned if it turns out a courthouse designed to protect victims interfered with a defendant’s constitutional right to face their

“The Supreme Court said the victim has to be there (in court) and they have to testify in front of the defendant and have to be cross-examined in front
of them, so they can’t do anything to interfere with that,” Black said. “If the courtroom impedes on that, it will not pass constitutional muster.”

Funkhouser said separating defendants and their families from victims and their families benefits everyone.

“You’ve seen videos where fights break out in courtrooms where the families of defendants and victims jump over the rails and attack each other,” she said.
“The whole idea is that a courthouse that’s safe for victims is going to be safer for everybody.”

Funkhouser said the design of the new court tower has been carried out in direct compliance with Arizona’s constitution and legislation addressing the need
to minimize contact between defendants and victims.

“I don’t know of any other court buildings in the United States that have gone to this extent,” Funkhouser said. “Arizona is the first state to have a victims’
bill of rights amendment. So I think this courthouse is the most innovative in terms of addressing victims’ needs and their rights.”

Guest article contributed by Darrell Shandrow and Jordan Moon, Students
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

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