DAYTON — Clayton donor Rebecca Gruber made her milestone 100th lifetime blood donation Monday, Aug. 3 at the downtown Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC). It was a time to reflect on an old friend who inspired her, the gift that helped her own father and a very different 100th milestone for her mother.
Gruber has retired from her career with Five Rivers MetroParks where she worked as a park technician. She and her husband David have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Gruber’s mom Margaret is celebrating not only her 100th birthday this year, but her continued independence.
“She still lives in her own home,” said Rebecca. “My husband and I check on her every day and have lunch with her every day.”
In fact, the daily lunch date was on Rebecca’s schedule to follow her donation appointment at CBC.
“I did know it would be 100 today,” she said. “I’ve worked toward this.” Reaching the goal brought back instant memories of the person who inspired her to begin the journey.
“Dick Stringfellow got me started donating in the early 2000’s,” she said. “He belonged to the Masonic Temple and they were big supporters of blood drives. He was an apheresis donor. He retired in Texas but he comes back to visit.”
Dick, who lived in Phillipsburg, was a great influence on Rebecca and many others. He made 413 lifetime donations with CBC.
“I’m looking forward to share this” said Rebecca. “It’s not to compare, like a contest. It’s the blood donated.”
Dick’s example was not her only inspiration to remain a Donor for Life.
“It’s something I can do because I’m on no medications right now, and I know that makes a difference,” she said. “My father had a whole blood transfusion when he was sick, and I know it really made a difference for him. I know it was there for him.”