West Carrollton donor Thomas “Tommy” Rogers talked about special dinner plans for the weekend with his fiance Zara as he made his regular platelet donation Friday, July 14 at the Dayton Community Blood Center. They would be celebrating her new job and his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation.
“She’s a donor too, I guess thanks to me,” he said. Tommy and Zara are engaged to be married in December. “She just got a new job. Between this and her job, it’s a good weekend! We’ll go out to dinner Saturday night.”
Just to add icing to the cake, Tommy made a double platelet donation. “I told everyone, on my day of 100 I will do a double!” he said.
Tommy started donating in 2009 at West Carrollton High School. He learned he was both an O positive donor, the universal donor for all patients with Rh positive blood, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.” Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.
He immediately began going to the Dayton CBC to make automated donations. “My second donation was double reds (double red blood cells). He continued to make double reds donations and in 2010 he began donating platelets and plasma.
“I donate as much as I can,” said Tommy. He said he could “only” donate about once a month while he was a student at Miami University. He graduated with an education degree in 2015. “I can donate more now,” he said. “I had 22 last year.”
He started out as an English tutor, but wanted to find other ways to help people. He now works for RMS of Ohio in Kettering, helping people with developmental disabilities by providing home medical and residential care.
He’s a busy young man with a wedding to plan by Christmas time, but he stays dedicated to his “Donor for Life” journey.
“It’s an addiction!” he said with a smile. “I think of it as an easy way to help people.”