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Celebrating National Friendship Day With Platelet Donor, Roy

Korin Roehm
July 26, 2023

Platelet Donor Spotlight: Roy

Did you know that having good friends can improve your health? According to the Mayo Clinic, a good friendship can increase your sense of belonging, boost your happiness, and reduce your stress. Some studies have even shown that adults who have meaningful social relationships live longer than their peers with fewer connections. This Month, we’re celebrating the powerful impact of these relationships because this Sunday, July 30th, is National Friendship Day. We sat down with Roy, a platelet donor who experienced the meaningful impact of both friendship and platelet donations in his life.

Tell me about yourself

I am very recently retired from a truck driving career that spanned several decades. I've driven all sorts of trucks, hauling various types of cargo. Truck driving is demanding and time-consuming, but it's a crucial job that keeps supplies flowing throughout the country. Besides that, I have a passion for photography and enjoy working on projects. I'm also a tech enthusiast and love playing with tech gadgets. Now that I'm retired, I have more time to pursue my hobbies and interests.

Platelet donor and whole blood donor smiling with two phlebotomist at oneblood donor center

How did you get started donating blood and when did you switch to platelets?

I used to donate blood occasionally, but due to the nature of my truck driving job, I couldn't donate regularly. However, I made the switch to donating platelets a little over a year ago after retiring. Platelet donation takes more time, but I have the availability and desire to contribute more to saving lives. It's particularly meaningful for me because my daughter has multiple sclerosis (MS), and I want to honor her by doing something impactful. I'm proud to be able to help cancer patients, burn victims, and others in need of platelets. For me, this act of donating platelets allows me to be a First Responder in my own way, supporting and honoring our Veterans and First Responders. I believe they are the lifeblood of our country and deserve the utmost respect and gratitude.

Do you have a specific schedule or day of the week that you like to stick to for your donations?

I prefer donating on Monday mornings. There are a few reasons for this choice. Firstly, many people are off on weekends and can donate during that time, leading to increased demand at blood centers. By donating on Mondays, I can help meet the need for platelets later in the week when the weekend donations start to run low. Additionally, the donation center I usually go to opens early on Mondays, and I like getting it done early in the day. Lastly, I have a personal challenge of holding off my morning coffee until after the donation, just like Larry the Cable Guy says, "GIT-R-DONE!" The staff at the center knows about this little quirk of mine, and I always bring coffee for the phlebotomists as a token of appreciation.

Have you brought any friends to donate with you?

Yes, I brought my best friend Jerry to donate blood with me on one occasion. He was eligible to donate when he visited from Ohio earlier this year, so we went to the usual donation center together. It worked out well since Jerry wanted to go for a walk after his blood donation, and I was able to donate platelets while he waited. The attached photo features the four of us, including a phlebotomist whose name I can't recall at the moment, myself, my friend Jerry, and another phlebotomist named Miss Nancy. It was a fantastic day of saving lives together, and I shared the photo on Facebook, proudly talking about our contributions.

Have you made any friends while donating platelets?

While I haven't made specific friends through platelet donations, I consider all the staff at One Blood to be my friends. They are wonderful individuals who take great care of me and put up with my playful banter while I'm there. They are always helpful in answering my questions about platelet donation and ensuring a positive experience. Building such relationships with the phlebotomists has been rewarding, and I appreciate their dedication to saving lives.

What inspires you to keep donating? 

I'm constantly inspired to donate by hearing stories of how blood donations have saved lives. It would be amazing to receive more information about where my donations go and perhaps even get a Message from a donor. 

Through our new initiatives like My OneBlood Journey and Message My Donor, OneBlood is bringing the donation experience full circle by personalizing the donation experience for donors and by bringing them a step closer to the patients they are helping save. To learn more about donating platelets, click here! 

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Korin Roehm

Korin Roehm is a Digital Marketing Specialist at OneBlood. From creating strategic online campaigns to writing engaging stories, she is passionate about raising awareness to inspire others and helping make a difference in our community.

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