Jan. 31, 1947–Nov. 13, 2021
Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is honoring the legacy of an incredible member of our community, Midge Zylker, who passed away late last year.
Midge was Blood Drive Coordinator for the Rose Garden Community Blood Drives, and was instrumental in establishing the Willow Glen Community Blood Drive and the Zanotto’s Sunnyvale Community Blood Drive as well.
Midge’s impact on patients goes back even further than her work with blood drives, as Midge worked as an OBGYN nurse for many years. Around this time, she had multiple friends and colleagues who required transfusions. Her husband, Randy, is type O- and CMV-, which means he can donate to immunocompromised patients, and had given a directed donation during the couple’s marriage to a very young family friend with leukemia. Having lived through the AIDs epidemic as well, Midge knew how critical it is to have blood be both safe and available when it’s most needed.
In the early 1990s, Midge made the bold decision to change career paths and took up residential real estate work, for which she had an immediate knack. She loved the opportunity to help people in the community find a home that spoke to them, and felt it rewarding to help folks navigate what can be a very complex process. After opening her own Silicon Valley-based company in 2012, she was looking for an opportunity to make new connections in the community as well as to give back to those in need more directly. With her own relationship to blood donation, it made sense that she should host a blood drive.
Midge started the Rose Garden Community Blood Drive in 2008 and worked with SBC to establish additional blood drives in the Willow Glen area in 2011, when Fred and Debbie Zanottos opened their store there. As a direct result of her work to coordinate and promote these drives, the community has collected hundreds (if not more) units of blood, which have saved the lives of countless patients in our community.
When asked about Midge, her husband of 42 years, Randy Zylker, said, “She was very passionate and caring. If her friends or family needed anything, she was there. She was especially supportive when anyone had an illness, offering her kindness and researching extensively to find natural ways to ease their condition.”
This surely maps onto SBC’s own relationship with Midge, who was known throughout the organization and the blood donor community as a warm, caring, dedicated individual. “From the first time I met Midge, I could see her commitment and devotion to her work, which carried over into the blood drives,” said Monica Doleshel-Aguirre, SBC Account Manager who worked with Midge on her drives. “She made sure to distribute flyers to as many of her customers and community locations that were willing to put up a poster to promote the blood drives. When I delivered the publicity to her and, when we both had time, she would invite me in to just chat for awhile. I can honestly say her passion and kindness shined through.”
Those wishing to honor Midge are encouraged to donate blood at the November Rose Garden blood drive, which will be held in memory of Midge around one year after her passing. (More information will be shared via our website and social media closer to the date.)
SBC sends our hopes of peace and healing for all who were blessed to know Midge.