Vandalia donor Claude Snyder is a retired ironworker and an “Iron Man” of blood donations. He made his milestone 390th lifetime blood donation Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC) knowing his blood will go to a special patient who lives miles away. He considers it another step in the journey to his goal of 400 donations.
Claude has been an apheresis donor since 2001 and he regularly donates platelets and plasma. His blood was discovered to be a Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) match for a patient in Michigan and he responded willingly to a special request to donate.
“People need it,” he said. “Not every person can give. I feel obligated because the Lord has blessed me in many ways. If I can help someone else, why shouldn’t I?”
Claude’s wife Mary made her 113th lifetime whole blood donation Friday and patiently waited for Claude to finish the longer automated donation process. “I can’t donate often as often as he can,” she said, “but we try to come together.” Claude was quick to remind her, “Yes, but we are about even on whole blood donations. Me and my wife together have over 500 donations.”
Together they also have five sons, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. As they hold hands during his donation, it’s easy to see how much they care for each other. Claude is 87 and Friday’s donation was his first in nearly a year because of his long recovery from hip replacement surgery. He retired from Dayton’s Ironworker Local 290 union years ago, but he still has an iron will. “I’m going to make it to 400,” he said. “We have been blessed beyond words.”