Here at the American Red Cross, our donors mean the world to us and the patients they help. We simply could not fulfill our lifesaving mission without them. Our donors may come from a variety of backgrounds and have an infinite number of reasons for donating, but each donor’s story is a source of inspiration. This story is one we hope will encourage others to become donors as well.
Take Robert Hungerschafer, for example. A recipient of the Clare Waite Humanitarian Award, Bob donates an impressive 24 times a year. Nearly every other Saturday, Bob travels 256 miles to his donation center in Vancouver, Washington for his blood, platelet, and plasma donations. Waking up at two in the morning to check in for his appointment at 6:30 a.m., Bob is the definition of a dedicated donor.
His commitment to donating blood products was inspired by his late friend and mentor, Walter Arnould, who passed away in 2012. Walter was a committed blood donor his entire life and always encouraged others to do the same. Bob says that saving lives and reducing suffering are his motivation to continue donating. “It's not hard at all to save a life. In fact, you can even do it while taking a nap. The hardest part is just making the time.”
Not to be outdone, Bob’s dog, Kirin, is also a blood, platelet and plasma donor! Kirin loves to donate, Bob says, and runs excitedly to the door of the Northwest Veterinary Blook Bank for his appointments. At only 18 months old, Kirin is already creating a lasting impact in the lives of other dogs, offering the same hope and healing to animals that Bob does for his human community.
A truly amazing duo, Bob and Kirin are each an example of the difference that one individual can make. Bob even has an annual goal to donate 24 triple-units of platelets, plus 12 concurrent units of plasma for a total of 84 lifesaving units.
“One unit of blood can positively impact and save lives,” says Bob, “so my annual goal is to donate enough to help as many adult-lives as I can.”
And Bob says his experiences partnering with the Red Cross have been excellent. “The staff are always friendly, helpful and informative. They pamper me with heating pads, blankets and they have a spirit of comradery and enjoy good banter.”
The Red Cross is so grateful for donors like Bob (and Kirin!) that show up for patients in need.
Feeling inspired by their story? Set your own donation goal for 2023 and schedule your next appointment now!