We never cease to be amazed and inspired by the resilient, good-natured and giving spirit of blind donor Larry Smith. He visited the Dayton CBC Tuesday, July 25 to give platelets for his 331st lifetime donation.
Many know Larry’s story. He was blind at birth and left abandoned as an infant on the steps of a state orphanage. He was in poor health as a child and his suffering was made worse by the brutality of the workers. Larry was rescued and nurtured by the kindness of a new house mother and a reform movement at the home. His health improved and he made his way in the world as a Dayton hospital darkroom worker, marathon runner, choir singer, and blood donor.
At Tuesday’s appointment he proudly wore the pin given to him when he was inducted into the 2015 Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame. But the darkness of the orphanage is still with Larry. As he has grown older he is noticing more balance issues related to an injury at the orphanage.
“I wasn’t very strong and I had to hang on to the bannister on the stairs,” he said. “This woman didn’t like that and told me not to do it. She hit me with her hand on my left ear and damaged the membrane in my ear drum.” Because of the old injury his doctor advises him not to walk distances without assistance.
As always in his life, he finds ways to make do. RTA Project Mobility is one way he gets around. That means scheduling visits to the Dayton CBC twice a month to give platelets and plasma, and to continue his journey as a Donor for Life.