Today I met a platelet donor from Vancouver named Randy. In addition to donating platelets, Randy sometimes donates whole blood, too. Randy is a relatively new donor; his first whole blood donation was about a year ago. He is enthusiastic about donating blood products and was very eager to share his donor story with me. He hopes it will inspire you to help save a life…
Name: Randy Stone
Occupation: Real estate broker
Hometown: Hollywood, CA
Currently living in: Vancouver, WA
When did you start donating blood?
A year ago.
Why did you start donating?
How I got started donating blood and platelets was really a fluke… [my wife and daughter] were showing me my daughter’s new school. We thought we would just drive by there one Saturday morning and look around on our way to do other things. As it turns out, The American Red Cross was having a blood drive that day, at that time. I donated because I wanted to teach our daughter that it is good to give blood and good to be charitable at heart.
What was your first Red Cross blood donation experience like?
The Red Cross Nurse got the needle in so quickly and easily, I barely noticed when my pint donation was already halfway complete. Later, she told me that I had a good platelet count and that it would be very valuable to save the life of a very ill person. She said that patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, or an organ transplant often need platelets in order to survive and that platelets, unlike whole blood, last only five days from when they are donated.
How often do you donate?
As often as possible. I am scheduled to give platelets and whole blood several times over the next month.
Why do you donate platelets and blood?
I want to be that good person who donates and helps someone else get better. I have never needed to receive blood or blood products. But loved ones have and I am very grateful to the good people who donated.
What’s your favorite part about donating?
It is very easy to give whole blood and platelets. With whole blood, you are in and gone quickly. With platelets, you can relax and watch your favorite DVD or catch up on news or any TV show.
Anything you’d like to tell those out there who haven’t tried to donate blood?
Please donate at least once, as soon as you can. Someone may need your gift to help save his/her life.
Photo: Randy getting cozy with a blanket and a movie while a nurse preps him for his platelet donation.