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86-Year-Old Blood Donor Reaches 40-Gallon Milestone

Northern California Blood Services Region

March 23, 2010
 
Daniel Cunha, 86, poses beside eight five-gallon buckets on Feb. 19, 2010, outside the Felton Community Blood Drive. Cunha made his 320thdonation of blood and platelets with the American Red Cross at the drive. The 40 gallons of blood he has donated could fill the buckets next to him.

On Feb. 19, Daniel Cunha rolled up his shirt sleeves, just as he had hundreds of times before, and did his best to help save lives.  He’s not a police officer.  He’s not a firefighter.  Cunha helps to save lives by donating blood … lots of blood.

Cunha, 86, donated his 320th pint of blood and platelets at the Northern California Region’s Felton Community Blood Drive.

When recently told his donations may have helped save many people, Cunha said modestly, “That’s what I wanted to do."

Cunha was awarded a special plaque for his achievement, and coffee and cake were served at a reception following his milestone donation. His wife, Sybil, a former blood donor, was also in attendance.

 The average person has 10 to 12 pints of blood in their body, which means Cunha’s total donation equals the amount of blood in approximately 26 people – demonstrating a huge commitment and dedication to ensure that blood is available for those who need it.

 The Felton resident began donating when the Red Cross held blood drives with his former employer, Lockheed.  After learning how badly blood is needed every day, Cunha made a habit of donating.

 “I’m sure people really need it, and I got it,” he said.

Cunha is not alone in his dedication.  In 2009, area residents donated nearly 450 pints of blood at the Felton Community Blood Drive.

Upcoming Felton Community Blood Drives:

Friday, March 26, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, Taylor Hall, 6090 Highway 9, Felton
Schedule an appointment

Friday, April 16, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, Taylor Hall, 6090 Highway 9, Felton
Schedule an appointment

Friday, May 14, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, Taylor Hall, 6090 Highway 9, Felton
Schedule an appointment

 Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive identification.

The Northern California Blood Services Region of the Red Cross is back on Twitter! You can follow us daily at @ARCBloodNorCal.