DAYTON, Ohio – As a just retired high school soccer coach, you could say Katie Ellis of Kettering does a lot of things just for kicks. Today (Friday, Dec. 7) she made her milestone 390th lifetime blood donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC), and just for kicks, she did it on her 65th birthday.
“It’s a great birthday!” said this active mother of four and grandmother of eight, with two more on the way. “Medicare, I started that. I already collected social security at 62!”
Don’t get the idea that Katie is slowing down. She’s from a family of eight, so she’s been bustling from a very young age. She was a nurse up until her first son was born (he’s 42 now). “I’ve always coached sports,” she says, including a stint as the women’s softball coach at Chaminade-Julienne High School. She may have retired from coaching the men’s junior varsity soccer team at Alter High School (her husband Bob “The Wiz” Ellis is the varsity coach), but she still has her golf. There are also three sets of twins among her grandchildren (two sets from the same daughter, another by a son) and that keeps her busy.
Plus she has her commitment to blood donations. As a regular apheresis donor she’s closing in on her milestone 400 LTD. “I’ve been doing it for close to 40 years,” she said. “My mom started it. She gave blood a whole lot, so she started me doing it. She did it just to help people. That’s why I do it. What’s an hour of my time to help people?”
Katie didn’t need to be asked about becoming an automated donor. “I saw an advertisement for apheresis and I thought I’d try it,” she said. “That was when you could give only 12 times a year.” Like many longtime automated donors, she’s seen the process evolve through better machinery, new procedures, and different locations in the Dayton CBC. “I’ve been on every floor of this building!” she laughed.
Congratulations to Katie Ellis on her 390th lifetime donation and her 65th birthday! Like all milestones, she takes them in stride, enjoys the moment, and keeps going.