Beavercreek’s Richard “Rick” Schieltz has been around the block a few times in his nearly 40 years as a donor and now he’s ready to circle the globe. He donated platelets Monday, Aug. 7 for his milestone 200th lifetime donation, and he’ll add to his bucket list by seeing the world.
Rick was pleased to reach his milestone well before December when he and his wife Bev will leave on the “Viking World Cruise,” an epic, four-month journey visiting five continents, 35 countries and 64 ports. Viking promises, “On one single voyage you will accomplish more travel milestones than most people achieve in a lifetime.”
Rick’s epic journey to 200 donations began back in ’78 or ’79 when he joined the “LifeLeaders” team at Standard Register captained by Community Blood Center “Award of Distinction” honoree Paul Martin. “We both worked in the same department, production equipment design,” said Rick. “We had mobiles that came out back then.”
Rick commonly averaged five or six donations per year at the Standard Register mobile blood drives. In 1996 he began donating at the Dayton CBC Donor Center. Rick left Standard Register (which had become Taylor Communications) in 2008 and he and Bev moved from the Vandalia area to Beavercreek to be closer to Bev’s work at Wright State University.
Rick continued to donate at the Dayton Donor Center. “They would say ‘Your blood type is A positive, you might consider going over to apheresis,’” said Rick. He became a platelet and plasma donor in 2016 and reached his 200th donation with his 10th donation of 2017.
“It’s a good thing to do,” Rick said about his “Donor for Life” dedication. “My volunteer work is too.” Rick has been a member of the Ski Patrol at Mad River Mountain for 45 years. He’s also dedicated to volunteering with historical restoration at Carillon Park.
Rick and Bev have two adult daughters, one in Cincinnati and the other in Iowa. Bev recently retired from Wright State and they moved to Miamisburg to downsize and prepare for their journey of a lifetime.
“I won’t be able to donate for four months,” Rick said.
Their world cruise itinerary reads like a geography test: Miami to London, then Cuba, Jamaica, through the Panama Canal to Polynesia, across the Pacific to Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, to China, Thailand, and Vietnam, then India, Egypt, Jordan and through the Suez Canal to Italy, Spain and Portugal, and back to England.
When Rick returns there will be a flurry of travel deferment research to determine if and when he is eligible to donate! He’s earned the time away. He’ll return having accomplished more travel milestones “than most people see in a lifetime.” But he leaves with a very satisfying accomplishment already in his suitcase: having helped save many more lives than most can ever imagine.