DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center gives thanks this Thanksgiving for donors like William “Bill” Ashworth. The Dayton retiree is 82 years old and still a very active “Donor for Life.” CBC celebrated Bill on Wednesday, Nov. 23, the eve of Thanksgiving Day, as he made his milestone 500th lifetime blood donation.
Bill currently ranks fourth among CBC donors in lifetime donations. He routinely donates platelets every two weeks and has no plans to slow down.
“I’ve been all over this building giving platelets,” Bill said of the many changes he has seen at CBC’s Dayton headquarters over the years. “I started in ’62 or ’63. I gave whole blood until ‘90. My wife had leukemia in ’89 and had to have platelets.”
Blood cancer patients commonly receive platelet transfusions as part of their treatment, and his wife’s need inspired Bill to become a platelet donor. She went into remission, but she lost her battle when the leukemia returned 10 years later. “She had real aggressive treatment of chemotherapy, and got platelets again,” said Bill. “She was 10 years older and it didn’t work.”
He’s thankful for the help she received from blood donors and remains inspired to help others through his platelet donations. He has happy memories of the time he and his wife spent at their lake cottage in their retirement. He was a supervisor at GM Frigidaire until 1980 then retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 10 years as a mail carrier in Kettering.
Bill is also thankful for his family. He has a daughter and son, four grandsons, and six grandchildren. He’ll celebrate Thanksgiving at his sister-in-law’s home, and will have another celebration Sunday at his daughter’s home.
CBC celebrated Bill with heart-shaped balloons on his donor bed and cupcakes in the Donor Café arranged to form the number 500.
“We thank you very much, especially for all you’ve done and for what a committed donor you are,” said CBC’s Chief Operating Officer Jodi Minneman as she presented Bill with a plaque honoring his 500th donation milestone. “We love our donors!”