Fort Loramie donor and farmer Tony Bornhorst likes to get things done, even if it takes some multi-tasking. He’s turned a few heads by driving his combine wearing a dress shirt and tie, because he wanted to finish a few more rows before heading to his Shelby County Commission meeting.
He takes a similar “double time” approach in his commitment to giving blood. His double red blood cell donation Tuesday, June 21 at the St. Michael’s Hall “Country Fun Blood Drive” helped him reach his milestone 100th lifetime donation with Community Blood Center.
Tony has made it his routine to donate six times a year. His blood type is O positive, making him a good candidate for double red blood cell donations, and the extra time between double donations helps him schedule around the busiest times on the family farm.
“I’ve only missed three times since I got started,” he said. “Two times for poison ivy – and it was the same batch! Another time we were coming back from a meeting in Columbus. The blood drive in McCartyville was going to 7 p.m. and it was snowing. I knew they would let me in the door, but I thought we might just skip it this time.”
He’s been keeping this routine since 1998, when he learned a blood pressure medication deferment had changed. “I asked and they said come on in,” he said. “I said first I’m going home to take a shower. When you’re a farmer you don’t want to scare anybody off!”
The family farm dates back to 1869. He served on the Ohio Pork Producers Council for 11 years, but in recent years Tony and his sons have transitioned the farm from pork to cattle-raising. Tony and his wife Joyce have been married for 37 years. They have three sons and two daughters, with the last of the five married just two weeks ago. They have 11 grandchildren and a 12th is due in a four weeks.
Tony is in the fourth year of his first term as a Shelby County Commissioner. He may be proudest of his 26 years as advisor of the Fort Loramie Livestock 4H Club. “It’s the club my dad started in 1951,” said Tony. “He was a senior in high school when he started the club. One of his original members was my advisor.”
Tony has always admired his father’s strength and independence. But his dad’s health has also caused him to reflect on why he believes in being a “Donor for Life.”
“It’s a good thing for folks who need it,” he said. “You never know when you may be on the other side. My dad just had open-heart surgery and I’m sure he used a couple of units. He’s doing well.”