Multiple generations of Barbara Olsen’s family witnessed a rolling tribute to her on March 12 with the dedication of the Homer Olsen Family bloodmobile for the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.
Family members saw the new blood collections vehicle inside and out – including a Homer Olsen Family logo that features a yellow rose and an outline of the state of Texas.
“It will be an amazing sight to me when I’m out on the road and see that yellow rose drive by,” said Cindy Schneider, a member of The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation board of directors and Homer and Barbara Olsen’s daughter.
Elizabeth Waltman, Chief Operating Officer of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, said the bloodmobile would be a lasting tribute to Barbara Olsen, who passed away after a long battle with leukemia – one that required multiple blood and platelets transfusions.
“Thousands and thousands of people will set foot in that bus and save lives,” Waltman said. “From the bottom of our hearts, and for all those people, we say ‘thank you’ to Mr. Olsen.”
Cathy Bailey, Homer Olsen’s daughter, thanked the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and The Foundation.
“We are so grateful to be able to give back to these wonderful organizations and our community,” she said. “They are saving lives every day, and for that we have our dad to thank.”
Homer Olsen paid the entire price for the bloodmobile, following a tour of BioBridge Global in 2019.
The vehicle goes into service across South Texas this spring, with the yellow rose logo on three sides as well as donor entrance and exit doors. Yellow was Barbara Olsen’s favorite color, and a bloodmobile is a fitting tribute to her mother’s legacy, Schneider said.
“I especially remember a backyard party was had for mom with all of her best friends present,” she said. “Mom was the shining star of the party, just having a blood transfusion. She passed away about three weeks later.
“She battled this disease with grace and dignity and was an inspiration to her family.”