Glens Falls remembers two local heroes with a Red Cross memorial blood drive


Credit: American Red Cross

The blood drive will honor Glens Falls natives Ken Hand and Dave Strader. In October of 2017, Dave Strader lost his battle to cholangiocarcinoma, commonly known as bile duct cancer. Less than four months later, Ken Hand died of the same rare and aggressive form of cancer. This special blood drive will be held Wednesday, January 9, from 12-7 p.m., at the Glens Falls YMCA, 600 Glen Street.

According to the American Cancer Society, people with cancer may need blood transfusions for many reasons, including internal bleeding and treatments like chemotherapy that may lower their blood cell counts. The blood collected at this blood drive will offer help and hope to patients facing serious health issues, such as cancer, trauma, blood disorders and certain surgeries.

Ken Hand

After earning a bachelor’s degree, Ken Hand started his career in the United States Army, where he attended flight school. While serving our country, Ken flew different aircrafts, including air ambulances. He conducted search and rescue missions and was awarded the Army Commendation medal and Army Achievement medal for a lifesaving air mission. As a civilian, his stellar career included being a commercial pilot for UPS, a chief pilot for a law enforcement agency, and a flight instructor.

Ken was a volunteer at his children’s schools, a Eucharist Minister for his church, a dedicated blood donor, a community role model, and above all else, a loving father and husband.

Dave Strader

Known as “The Voice” of the National Hockey League, Dave Strader started his 35-year career as a broadcaster in his hometown of Glens Falls, when he took the job as first voice for the Adirondack Red Wings in 1979. He went on to cover hockey games for several organizations, including the NHL, ESPN and NBC Sports. During his remarkable career, Dave covered over 100 consecutive Stanley Cup Final Games for NHL International TV between 1997 and 2015 and called Olympic games as well. He is a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, and an Emmy Award and New York State Broadcasters Association award winner. 

One of Dave’s greatest accomplishments happened as he fought for his own life. He donated cells for future research that could one day unlock a cure for bile duct cancer. He corresponded with fellow sufferers of cholangiocarcinoma and brought attention to this aggressive form of cancer by sharing his story on national television.

He adored his wife and three children.

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