Every two seconds someone in the U-S needs a blood transfusion. Blood donations affect the lives of many in our community, now, an eighty-five year-old Suncoast man is honored and inducted into the Donation Hall of Fame, for his outstanding commitment and passion for donating more than 145-gallons of life saving blood and platelets.
"I said why not, I got nothing else to do, I'll try it and I'll continue and I've been doing it ever since." It started that simply sixty-six years ago, said Roy Richards. "Its doing what I'm supposed to be doing, helping other people and survive the problem."
He shares his gift of life by donating platelets twenty-four times a year, helping people like Ned Fishburn, a cancer survivor who came to honor Richards.
Fishburn underwent three rounds of chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant, he acknowledges platelets from donors like Richards saved his life. Fishburn's daughter Farrah is also honoring Richards, she says she is well aware of the difference it made in her family. "I cant even imagine one minute without my dad." she said.
Fishburn is one of many whose life may have been saved by selfless acts of donors, but Richards seems unaware of the many he has helped. He said, "I have no idea, hopefully it's a great number but you never know, there's other people besides myself doing the very same thing."
Well, here is the breakdown. The more than one hundred and forty-five gallons of life saving liquids donated by Richards equals eleven hundred and sixty actual units. Said J.B. Gaskins, Senior VP of OneBlood.org "Each unit can help save three lives, that is a phenomenal number, it can exceed over three thousand people that he has touched in his donations over the years."
And Richards doesn't plan to retire from donating blood and platelets anytime soon, his short term goal is one hundred and fifty gallons. "I will do it until I feel as though I cant do it anymore."
Blood centers across the country submit hundreds of nominations for the donation hall of fame... only twelve are selected... they receive an award by Fenwal,the company that developed the blood bag and will appear in the company's 2014 calendar.
Maybe we will see Richards as Mr. December.
There are some restrictions on those wanting to donate blood. One is that you need to be at least one-hundred and ten pounds. For more information you can log onto the Red Cross website.