DAYTON — Dayton donor Bert Jones is dedicated to “making a difference” in the lives of others. He satisfied a Christmas wish by making his milestone 600th lifetime blood donation Friday, Dec. 22 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
Bert’s last chance to donate before Christmas would have been Saturday morning, so he was pleased to make a special delivery of the “gift of life” with a day to spare.
“It’s satisfaction,” he said describing his feelings. “Proud is not the right word. It isn’t just about being a donor. I’m just glad I can be making a difference, trying to make a difference. That’s what it’s about.”
Jones reached his milestone with a double platelet donation. It was his 24th donation of the year, the maximum number of platelet donations allowed per year. The CBC staff helped him celebrate with cupcakes forming the number “600” and a special cake in the shape of a red blood drop.
Jones has been helping people through blood donations for a long time. His 600 lifetime donations rank only behind CBC’s top donor Wendell Clark from Eaton with 654 and Larry Turner from Xenia with 637.
Jones began donating while in high school in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky in 1964. He began donating with CBC soon after moving to Dayton in 1978. He began donating platelets and plasma in the mid-1980s and holds the honor of being the first CBC donor to complete a full schedule of 24 apheresis donations in one year.
At every donation milestone over the years, Jones will recount the moment he became motivated to become a dedicated “Donor for Life.” He said he was surprised to learn that only 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate, and less than 10 percent donate annually.
“That’s when it first hit me,” he said. “This is really important. I need to do this.”
He enjoyed the celebration of his 600th donation, but accepted the praise in his quiet, unassuming manner.
“If it does inspire someone, that’s great,” he said. “I’m happy that I’m doing this. It’s important to me. It has become a personal and important part of my life.”
Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org
Connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at www.GivingBlood.org. Get fast and complete answers on how to make your first donation, organize a blood drive, or bring our education program to your school. Get all the updates in the CBC/CTS newsroom, find quick links to our social media pages, or schedule your next appointment to donate by connecting to www.DonorTime.com.
Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch & blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more, depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1(800)388-GIVE. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.