Huber Heights donor Linda Pierce is a Prius when it comes trekking out miles and lifetime donations. The petite, retired school district employee and grandmother is a newcomer to “Volksmarch” fitness walking, and a long-time “Donor for Life.” She reached her milestone 201st lifetime donation Monday, June 6 at the Dayton Community Blood Center and made it look easy.
Linda is an apheresis donor who unassumingly reached 200 with a platelet donation on May 27 and was back at CBC just 10 days later to give platelets again for donation 201.
She started the journey to her milestone as a whole blood donor, but noticed she was often fatigued after donating. “They said I would be good for apheresis,” she said. “When I started it was still the old two-arm procedure upstairs. Some wondered if I would like that, but I didn’t mind.”
Linda retired five years ago from her work in computer reporting at the Huber Heights City Schools central office. She recalled the mobile blood drives at Weisenborn Junior High, where she once escorted a friend who needed support while making her first donation.
She and her husband John have been married 48 years and have three sons and three grandchildren. John is an ex-Marine, their oldest son served in the Navy, and their middle son had 10-year stints in the Army and Air Force.
They guys in the family may be retired from military service, but it’s Linda who is on the march. She participated in her first Volksmarch fitness walk last summer. She loves the non-competitive nature of the walks and the chance to experience new environments.
“You don’t run, you walk at your own pace,” she said, “and you’re doing it in interesting wilderness or urban areas, historical places, and pretty scenery. I’ve seen deer, a little red fox, and other animals. It’s a fun thing to do.”
She completed her first 10 walks and received a Volksmarch calendar of regional events. She said during the summer and fall there are walks to choose from every weekend. Her immediate goal is to complete 30 walks. It complements her exercise routine. She used to swim a mile every morning – a routine that bleached her hair blonde – and now does regular water aerobics classes.
As a Donor for Life, she always goes the extra mile for blood donations. It’s why she has topped 200 donations with no plans to slow her pace. “It’s something I can do,” she said. “I feel if you can give, you should give.”
She also believes donating makes her more aware of the importance of staying healthy. “I have to take my iron every day,” she said. “If I didn’t donate I’d be anemic!”