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Jim Reed was in the Navy, stationed in the North Pole the first time he donated blood. He gave a direct donation to someone on the icebreaker ship who needed a blood transfusion to stay alive. When Jim returned home to Rochester he started to give blood regularly to help as many patients as possible. Jim’s most memorable donation was when he got a wake up call at three o’clock in the morning from a local Hospital. They asked him to come in immediately to give blood to help a newborn who was in desperate need. Jim is now 80 years old, and still donates every time he is eligible. He is a 17 gallon donor and has no plans of stopping unless his doctor tells him to.
Jim’s son Paul says his first donation was no where near as heroic as his dad’s. Paul was a freshman in college and read a poster about blood donation. Most of his friends were donating so he went along. It was much later in life that he became a regular donor when the fire department in his neighborhood started hosting blood drives. Soon Paul was asked to give double red cells and has been doing so ever since.
Nicholas Reed, 16, grew up hearing his father and grandfather talk about donating blood. The family is competitive in nature, and Jim and Paul challenge each other about how fast their donation takes. Jim can usually finish giving whole blood in five minutes, and Paul can never match that time. Nick wanted in on the competition, so as soon as he was old enough he went with his father to give blood. Nick continues to donate every time he is eligible. He hopes too one day have as many donations as his father and grandfather.
The values of giving back to the community have been instilled throughout three generations, and together as a family they’ve helped save hundreds of lives.
—Three Generations of Donors - Rochester, NY
Those who participate in donating blood or platelets May 27-31 will receive a free Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
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