Love at first fingerstick

December 24, 2012

Little did Charlie Fairbank know that when he went to donate blood on February 7, 1957, he would meet his perfect match.

Not his perfect blood type match, but his marital match.

At the time, the former Nancy Ream volunteered as a health history nurse and that day was working at the former American Red Cross blood donor center on Walnut Street, downtown Johnstown.

She recalls thinking that Charlie was a nice guy when she conducted his health history interview and vital signs check, making sure his blood pressure, iron levels, pulse and temperature were within acceptable ranges.

He was still at the blood drive when Nancy went on break. They talked and learned that they had a mutual friend. Later on, both contacted this friend, hoping he would tell each one good things about the other.

Charlie and Nancy married seven months later, on September 7, 1957.

Over the years the American Red Cross has remained a priority in their lives. On December 7, 2012, Charlie donated his 20th gallon of blood at the blood drive held by the Red Cross at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Richland Township. From 1970 to 1971 Nancy was employed by the Red Cross as a blood drive staff nurse, but left because the travel took her away from their young children.

Two of those children, older son Brian and daughter Kathy have continued the family tradition of donating blood, as has their granddaughter Bethany.

Charlie commented, “I will continue to donate blood as long as my health permits, and request that everybody else considers donating as the need is so great.”

Congratulations, Charlie and Nancy, and may you have many more happy years together!