Beavercreek donor Gerard W. Kaufhold celebrated his 95th birthday in August, and on Monday, Dec. 8 he matched his age with blood donations by making his milestone 95th donation with Community Blood Center (CBC). It’s clear that Gerard has no intentions of slowing down, especially since Monday was the third time he’s donated since turning 95.
Gerard has been a steady whole blood donor with CBC for many years. He’s a member of St. Helen Parish and encourages support for the CBC blood drives at the church, but he prefers to donate at the downtown Dayton CBC. No question, Gerard is a septuagenarian blood donor. But his lifetime donation count is clearly underestimated. He has 95 donations on record with CBC, but his actual lifetime count is well beyond 100.
“I started donating blood back during World War II,” he said. “I was in the Army from 1944 to 1946, and served in New Guinea and Tokyo. After the war I donated up in Fairborn a couple of times, and then I was a civilian engineer at Wright Patt.”
Gerard studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati and earned a post-graduate degree at Ohio State University. He remembered a fellow engineer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base who encouraged him to keep donating.
“I worked with a couple of guys who were real avid donors,” he said. “The one who donated the most was George Gardner. He always encouraged people to donate and I would always come over with him, and get others to do it.”
George’s blood donations have helped countless of patients and his dedication seems ageless. “I have no words of wisdom,” he says on why he remains so dedicated, but he does consider that he has been given much in return, perhaps even a fountain of youth.
“One of my sons is a doctor and he said it’s not going to hurt you,” he said. “In fact, he said it makes the body make new blood.” It does seem to work for George. After a cranberry juice and a peanut butter cookie in the Donor Café, he headed for home saying, “I’ll see you in eight weeks.”