Kettering donor Rex Strine became a “Donor for Life” the day his son was born and needed blood. On Friday, Jan. 27 he celebrated a lifelong journey as a blood donor with his milestone 100th lifetime donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
“I started because I was asked when my son was born and he needed blood,” Rex said. “He was fine. But as a newborn he needed blood, and it was a time when they would ask, can you replace it. He’ll be 55 and I’ll be 85 so that was many years ago!”
Rex and his wife Carol will be married 64 years in February. They raised three children and now have six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Rex spent 36 years with GM (including the former Delco-Moraine) working in sales and later purchasing. He retired 25 years ago, but jumped back into the auto industry working with an associate until 2008. He always managed to reserve time for his growing family, regular vacation trips to Florida, and donating.
Over the years he donated often at the Central Christian Church in Kettering and the Dayton Donor Center. He said he became an apheresis donor when the procedure was relatively new, but his donation schedule was interrupted when he went through treatment for prostate cancer.
He went back to donating platelets and plasma exclusively in 2012. He made nine donations in 2016 and his milestone 100th donation was his first of 2017.
“I figured I would do it for before heading to Florida for a month,” he said. “We go to the Panhandle, what they call ‘the Redneck Riviera’ near Destin!”
Rex relies on the familiar apheresis schedulers at CBC to remind him when it’s time to donate. “I react when they call me,” he said. “They’ll say ‘Can you come in?’ I always say, ‘When you need me – I’m here!’’