It is no easy accomplishment, reaching 500 blood and platelet donations. In fact, it has taken Tom close to 50 years to reach this amazing milestone, which he officially realized on March 28. He started donating with the American Red Cross in 1969 and his journey eventually led him to Stanford Blood Center (SBC), where he has been donating for over 10 years.
SBC was excited to celebrate this important milestone event with Tom and to honor his commitment to saving lives through blood donation we wanted to share his story with you.
Tom first donated blood on a day just like any other. He drove by a mobile blood drive and decided to “give it a go” he told us. After donating whole blood for many years, Tom was recruited as a platelet donor, in part because he is O-positive and CMV negative, which is a much-needed product. In fact, he will often do double and triple donations when he is able. It is incredible to think that such a seemingly small decision to stop at a mobile has contributed to saving of thousand of lives.
But his contribution didn’t end there. Tom had such a positive experience as a donor and believed in blood donation so much that he went above and beyond and began volunteering additional time at a blood center. Over the years, this humble and generous man earned much respect from his community. He was even nominated to be an Olympic torchbearer in 1996 due to his service to the community through volunteerism and blood donation.
When considering why he continued to donate so frequently, Tom confides that he has had several friends who needed blood over the years and, in fact, his sister received several units a few years ago so he has directly experienced the impact blood donation has on patient’s lives. For this reason, he has also encouraged others to donate over the years, telling them “it’s easy to do. It takes just a little bit of time and you feel really good at the end of the day, and you get to help someone.”
Tom’s wife, Rachael, was at the center to celebrate 500 donations with her husband told us: “I am so proud of him, the whole family is.” Tom has become a dear friend to SBC over the years and we are so please to congratulate him on his milestone.