Is the journey to 100 lifetime blood donations a long way? Not to English teacher Thomas Ferguson of Fairborn, who reached the milestone at his regular apheresis donation Wednesday, June 20 on a visit to the Dayton CBC. At least not compared to a one-way ticket to Mars.
That was the plot line of the science fiction short story Thomas was enjoying on his Kindle as he casually donated platelets. “It’s about an older guy moving to Mars,” explains Thomas. It’s a one-way journey. He’s going there to die. It raises questions like “Where are we going? What’s our future?’”
In the inner space journey of blood cells traveling from Thomas’ arm to a patient somewhere in need of a transfusion, the future is much improved. Thomas has been teaching English at the Greene County Career Center for 16 years and has been a blood donor for 20. “Friends of mine were doing it,” he recalls. “For many of my younger years I didn’t do it. I decided to make it a priority to give back and contribute. I’m healthy and I can.”
It’s been a one-way journey since then, with Thomas never turning back. He transitioned into apheresis donations when asked and says “I come when they call.” This day’s page in his blood donation history comes with a special bookmark – the black jacket embroidered with “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” he received from CBC as a thank you gift.
As an avid science fiction reader, he enjoys many authors. He’s re-reading a favorite from Isaac Asimov, regrets the recent passing of Ray Bradbury, enjoys talking about the many futurist ideas from Philip K. Dick who inspired the movies “Minority Report” and “Total Recall,” and reserves the highest praise for “Dune” author Frank Herbert.
Yes, Thomas Ferguson has visited many far away galaxies, often from his seat in the CBC donor room. It that way, his 100 LTD arrived at the speed of light. For the patients he has helped, it was always just in time.