It’s always a pleasure to see Larry Smith at the Dayton CBC Donor Center. Today (Dec. 9) it was both a pleasure and a privilege. Larry had just made his 317th lifetime donation and the timing was perfect to present him with a special pin that he can now wear identifying him as a member of the National Donation Hall of Fame.
CBC celebrated Larry a year ago this month when he was inducted in the Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame. The honor included a profile and photo in the 2016 Hall of Fame calendar. When we turned the page to the final month of this year, it became time to honor “Mr. December.”
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees will also receive a “Donation Hall of Fame” pin. Fresenius Kabi was kind enough to send a pin for Larry and it arrived just in time for his latest donation. He was surprised and thrilled.
Larry has been blind since birth. He was pleased to hear the description of the pin – a rectangle shape with a deep black enamel background and “Donation Hall of Fame” in gold letters. There is also a gold heart in the upper left corner. He’ll use that as reference to make sure it is displayed correctly when he pins it to a shirt or jacket.
“That is so nice,” Larry said. “I will definitely wear it. I like it very much.”
Larry’s picture in the Hall of Fame calendar is from the day after Christmas in 2012 when he braved a winter storm to make his scheduled blood donation. It was an important contribution to the blood supply because the weather forced CBC to cancel all blood drives that day and close the Dayton Donor Center moments after Larry’s donation.
Larry’s snow storm donation was the basis of his nomination to the Hall of Fame, and his compelling life story impressed the judges even more. Larry has been blind since birth and was abandoned as an infant on the steps of a state orphanage. He survived a childhood full of hardship by finding a purpose in helping others.
His latest donation comes on another cold, December day with whispers of snow in the forecast. The Project Mobility bus will come for Larry to take him home from the Donation Center. It is truly heart-warming to know he will brave the cold with the warmth of a golden heart pinned to his chest.