Huber Heights donor Mary Becker amazed herself when she donated platelets Aug. 30 at the Dayton Community Blood Center to reach her milestone 100th lifetime blood donation. “I had no idea I had given that often,” she said.
Mary’s journey to her milestone goes back decades and it includes her experience with the early machinery used for apheresis donations of platelets and plasma. “I was a two-arm person when I started!” she said.
It’s worth noting that Mary is still a “two-arm” person! She was referring to the early machines that required a needle in each arm. One needle was to draw blood as the machine removed the platelets while the other needle returned the other blood components to the donor. Apheresis now requires only one needle and “one arm.”
Mary started on the journey to her milestone by donating whole blood. “My uncle needed blood for surgery,” she said. “They asked for people to try to replace it. After I got started I just gave when I could. Apheresis people called and I said I’ll try it.”
Mary said, “For the last 16 years I’ve only given a couple of times.” But that changed in March when she went to a mobile blood drive at St. Peter Parish. She soon began donating platelets again at the Dayton Donor Center. She made nine donations over the summer, carrying her quickly to her 100th donation.
“I have given more over the last few months,” she said. She spoke of her husband, her daughter and her three grandchildren, and that seemed to inspire what it means to be a Donor for Life. “I feel that helping keep a live is like giving a life,” she said. As she spoke those words, she seemed to have amazed herself again.