Making Christmas trees blink to life across the Miami Valley was a part of what kept Beavercreek’s John Renz busy during his 40-year career at Dayton Power and Light.  The holidays are also like a light bulb over his head reminding him to give blood, and his Tuesday, Dec. 13 visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center was for his milestone 100th lifetime donation.

“I always try to give at Christmas every year,” said John. “You always mention that you need blood over the holidays.”

It took some extra miles for John to reach this milestone.  John and his wife Margaret have been married 46 years and lived more than 40 years in Beavercreek.  John retired six years ago, but was often called back to work part-time.  Finally they decided to move to the Columbus area last summer because that’s where their two children and five grandchildren now live.

The Dayton CBC is still a home base to John and he gladly makes the trek along I-70 to continue donating.

John said the journey through time to his milestone began more than 30 years ago. “I had a hip replaced, and I needed two units of blood,” he said.  His hip problems continued, requiring more surgeries. For those procedures he made autologous donations.  Donating for himself led him to donate for others.

“I said if I can donate for myself, I can donate for someone else,” John said. “My brother used to say, ‘Aren’t you afraid of needles?’  I said if someone helps you, you can help someone else.”

A gift from many years ago remains a guiding light in John’s memory. “There were two people who were there for me once,” he said.  “I’m here now because they were there for me. Now I can be there for someone else.”

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