As a young U.S. Navy sailor aboard a nuclear submarine during the Cold War, Xenia donor Rob Fisher once spent 72 straight days patrolling deep below the Atlantic Ocean. He marked another milestone in a different journey dedicated to service when he made his 100th lifetime blood donation Tuesday, June 27 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
Rob has friends who have reached the 100 donation milestone, and he was glad to join the club by making a platelet donation and then trying on his black “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket.
His journey to the milestone began soon after he graduated from Stebbins High School in 1971 and enlisted in the Navy. “I’ve been giving blood since I was 18,” he said. “The first time was in military training school up in Great Lake, Illinois. Two weeks after I graduated I was in boot camp.”
It took years of training to get ready for his job at sea. “I basically worked on a nuclear reactor,” he said of his 11 years as a submariner. “It was the Cold War, and back then it was the best deterrent.”
He retired from active duty in ’91 then spent 24 years as facilities supervisor at the Dayton VA Medical Center. Rob and his wife Cindi have been married 43 years and have two daughters and three grandchildren.
As an O positive donor (the universal blood type for all Rh positive blood) he was often called on to make double red blood cell donations. He found that donating by apheresis came easy to him, and he became a platelet and plasma donor in 2015.
“It’s probably one of the only things I do that is a good thing for others,” Rob said. “I get a really good feeling from helping out. It makes me want to donate again and make it a routine.”