Eight years ago, Drs. Sara Wassenaar and Rich Frutiger lost their daughter, Anna Frutiger, a month after her 23rd birthday due to a blood clot in her lung, also known as pulmonary embolism or PE. Anna had an undiagnosed blood clot in her leg, also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT. Shortly after Anna’s death, Sara got involved with the National Blood Clot Alliance by hosting awareness and fundraising events in and around her hometown of Alma, Michigan. Within a couple of years, Sara was invited to serve as a member of the NBCA Board of Directors, and was its President from 2015 – 2017.
On June 2, 2018, Sara hosted a new event in memory of her daughter called Ride to Stop the Clot® for Anna’s Team. This event took place in Alama with the help of Chris Maltby at Terry’s Cycle, Alma Heritage Dentistry, and Alma College. The event attracted 125 cyclists who rode the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail for 2, 8, 18 or 40 miles.
On this day, much of the Alma community, as well as friends and family, joined together to support NBCA. One of the cyclists shared, “This morning I biked for Anna. I never had the honor of meeting her, and so many others haven’t either, yet, she has touched so many lives. She has saved so many lives. Thank you for all that you do, Sara Wassenaar, you have touched so many people’s lives by sharing Anna’s story.” All of us at NBCA echo these words, and it gives us great pride to honor Dr. Sara Wassenaar as the June 2018 Volunteer of the Month.