I became active in blood banking in 1965, after donating a pint of blood. I contacted the Lorain County Blood Bank, now LifeShare Community Blood Services, and inquired about running a blood drive and with their support, began running blood drives at my church. I coordinated blood drives every eight weeks and also continued to donate myself on a regular basis.
Sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s, I converted to platelet donations, and continued holding blood drives every eight weeks. In 1985, after talking with a lot of my fellow donors, I felt I was not getting the full potential from them. I decided to have a blood drive every Saturday and once every eight weeks on a Monday night. This was very successful because my donors were able to conveniently work this into their schedule. If they missed an eight week cycle, they could show up the following week and not have to wait eight weeks to donate.
I continued running about 56 drives a year until I retired in 2000. My final year I was able to collect 2,069 units of blood for LifeShare Community Blood Services.
Although I was no longer coordinating blood drives, I continued donating platelets on a regular basis. In the fall of 2007, while donating platelets I said, “I can do more than this.” I then came up with the idea of donating platelets in every state, becoming a spokesperson to raise awareness of the need for whole blood and platelets. Hence the name “Platelets Across America”.
I was able to complete my 50 State goal in less than 5 years. I now travel to blood banks to donate platelets, speak at functions, do radio and TV interviews, dispense ideas, encourage staff and remind them of the importance of their work.
Total Platelet Units Donated As Of 08/22/2017 : 816