Laura donor Randy Henninger was all smiles during his July 24 visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center. He had two of his daughters at his side in the donor room as he made his milestone 100th blood donation and a couple of granddaughters in the Donor Café waiting to help him celebrate with his favorite German chocolate cake.
“I try to donate six times a year, and I’ve accomplished that several times,” Randy said about his journey to the milestone. He grew closer to his goal with six donations in 2016 and reached 100 with his fourth donation of this year.
Randy had to pause to remember his very first donation. “Gee whiz,” he said. “It was back in the 80’s. We had a donation at work. It was in Dayton and I was working as a millwright.” At age 65 Randy keeps an active lifestyle. He’s a truck driver for a plastic recycling business in Piqua and plans to work at least another three years before retiring.
Randy’s family made special plans to celebrate his milestone together. His daughter Michele came from Jonesborough, Tennessee to make her “one gallon” (eighth lifetime donation) with her dad. “He was eligible to donate July 3 and he waited until today so we could donate,” said Michele.
His daughter Amy from Vandalia attempted her first donation. Randy has another daughter serving in the U.S. Air Force in Germany. Two of his six grandchildren were on hand to help celebrate with their granddad’s favorite cake.
He can’t imagine slowing down his donation routine because he feels compelled to keep giving.
Randy is both an O negative donor, the universal donor for all patients in need, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.” CMC negative means he has not been exposed to the common cytomegalovirus. Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.
“I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there, especially babies born and need to be operated on. I think it’s a good thing to do.”