Eddie is a OneBlood regular. The staff at our Lake Park Donor Center know him well.
As a 16-gallon whole blood donor and a cancer survivor, he understands the vitally important role dedicated blood donors play for patients in need.
“It makes me feel proud that I can contribute to my community,” Eddie said. “I know a lot of people need blood, and I want to keep giving as long as I can. I’m 71 years old, and I’ve been giving since I was 17.”
Eddie made his first blood donation right out of high school. He has continued donating over the years, only stopping in 2012 when he was treated for prostate cancer. Once the doctor cleared him, he was right back in the donor chair.
“I believe in giving back,” Eddie said. “My father was a veteran, my sons are veterans, and they served this country in the military. I didn’t do that, so I thought I could give blood and help the community this way.”
Though Eddie did not require blood transfusions during his cancer treatment, he knows others often do. He has also seen the effects of diseases like sickle cell anemia in his community. He views his donations as a way to improve the blood supply and help fight these diseases.
“Maybe one life has been saved by me just giving,” he said. “You never know who it’s going to affect — maybe somebody in your family, or someone in your community — but we know it goes to help somebody.”
Eddie has a lot to be proud of, but he’s not content to stop now. He plans to continue giving blood, and he thinks you should too.
“If you want to help your community and be a value to your community, give blood,” Eddie said. “You could start now and probably break my record. I know people who are giving 20 and 25 gallons, and those are the guys I’m trying to catch. If you want to break my record of 16, I’m ready to challenge you to do it.”