Blood Donor Reaches 100-Gallon Milestone
Ralph Douglass of Plymouth has reached a milestone few even get close to. He’s just donated his 100th gallon to Memorial Blood Centers. That’s an achievement so rare, only two other people at MBC have done it.
Ralph donates platelets, the part of blood that makes it clot. That’s an extra commitment – while regular donations take less than thirty minutes, Ralph has to stay in his donation bed for two hours. He does it once every two weeks, just like he has for the last forty years.
“People like you saved my life.”
Ralph started in high school – like his friends, his first donation was because a pretty girl asked him to. But when he saw how much donating blood helps, he just kept coming. He remembers meeting a recipient – a former Edina cop – who told Ralph he would have died without donors.
“I met him at a fundraiser,” Ralph says. “He said people like you saved my life because there was platelets and blood available, and then he started crying.”
So did Ralph. He vowed to himself that day that as long as he’s healthy, he’ll keep coming back, donating platelets twice a month.
He’s so dedicated that he’s somewhat of a celebrity among the blood center’s staff. His picture’s on the wall above his donation station. He knows almost every employee by name. Knows about their families, and they know about his, too. They’re friends – and Lexus Hill, the one who usually draws Ralph’s blood, says that’s something special.
“He definitely makes my job a lot easier. Definitely made it better to come in every day and do what we do, because he’s always great to work with.”
Memorial Blood Centers is always looking for more donors to follow in Ralph’s footsteps. If you’d like to donate go to http://www.mbc.org.