Franklin donor James “Andy” Stewart is a carpenter who takes pride in finding creative ways to save historic buildings without compromising their character. He also believes in building a legacy of saving lives, proven by his milestone 100th lifetime donation.
Andy reached the milestone with his regular platelet donation Sept. 8 at the Dayton CBC Donor Center. It was his 13th apheresis donation of the year. He faithfully donates platelets or plasma at least once a month, and made 17 donations in 2016.
“I first donated back when I was at Hanover College in Indiana,” he said about the beginning of his “Donor for Life” journey. “I started up again when I got up here.”
For years Andy was a regular whole blood donor at the blood drives hosted by Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springboro. His wife Susan volunteered as a coordinator of the church blood drives. He has been donating platelets and plasma since 2014.
He remembers supporting the blood drives held for Emily Roberts, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 at the age of 13. Through the course of her treatment she received more than 100 units of blood and two bone marrow transplants, as well as multiple blood products during her chemotherapy. By the age of 16 she was considered cured.
“I remember her mother started the blood drive,” said Andy. “She survived and now she’s married and has children.”
Andy and his wife Susan have two children. Since 1977 Andy, Susan and Andy’s brother Bruce have operated a small business called Architectural Reclamation, Inc. They state on their website, “Our specialty is finding sensitive, responsible, creative solutions to the many problems that arise in adapting old buildings to modern uses, while preserving the unique character and craftsmanship of each historic structure.”
Over the years they have tenderly reclaimed historic homes, museums and log structures, including work with historic sites at Carillon Park. Creative solutions include ideas like installing solar panels on restored barns.
Between giving new life to historic structures Andy will visit the Dayton Donor Center to give the gift of life. “It’s an easy way to help somebody,” he said.