West Carrollton’s Roger Wilmoth is a blood donor who knows what it’s like to be on both ends of the needle. He’s most familiar with the pointy end: Roger made his milestone 200th lifetime blood donation Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Dayton Community Blood Center. But just for balance, he learned about the flip side.
“I took a phlebotomy class for a quarter at Sinclair Community College,” he said. “I wasn’t planning on using it. It was just for my own benefit, to see what it’s like to draw blood after giving it so much.”
The technical part of the course was nothing new, but some of psychology surprised him. “Probably the part about individuals who are nervous and you try to calm them down,” he said. “I never had any problem with that.”
Roger has been donating problem-free for nearly 50 years. “I started back in the 70’s, through work at DP&L,” he said. He spent his entire career at DP&L working in IT and retired in 2008.
Roger’s blood type is O positive, making him a universal donor for anyone with a positive Rh blood type. In 2009 he began helping CBC boost the O positive blood supply with automated double red blood cell donations.
“They asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, ‘Sure – whatever you need,’” he said. “I tried double reds for a while and then I switched to platelets.”
Roger started donating platelets and plasma in 2015. He made a dozen donations that year, followed by 21 donations in 2016. He reached his 200th donation milestone with his second donation of 2017. “Because they needed it,” is the only reason he needed to keep giving.
Roger and his wife Janet will be married 44 years in February. They have two sons and nine grandkids.
Ohio’s Lifelong Learning program allows Roger to take classes at Sinclair at no cost. Though he enjoyed his phlebotomy class, he’d rather have a wrench in his hand than a needle. “I enjoy working on cars,” he said, “so I’m taking automotive classes at Sinclair.”