Hillsboro’s Mike Curry is a retired Dayton Fire Captain who got his name – Mike, not Michael – from his grandfather, and became a blood donor because his dad donated. He made his own mark on family tradition Wednesday, Nov. 1 when he celebrated his milestone 300th lifetime donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
“I started when I was 18,” Mike said about the beginning of his “Donor for Life” journey. “My dad always donated. He was a World War II vet. He thought it was important. Once I started, I kept coming. I would donate at the fire department.”
Mike lived in Belmont and spent 30 years as a Dayton firefighter. He retired as a captain at station 16 in the West District in 2002. He moved to his Hillsboro farm in 2007, where he says, “I stay busy as I want to with timber and a few cows,”
Mike is a “universal donor” because his blood type is O negative, which any patient in need can receive. He’s also a CMV-negative donor, which means he has not been exposed to the cytomegalovirus. Hospitals prefer to use CMV-negative blood for units designated for children and to ensure the safety of blood transfusions to newborns.
“If I didn’t donate very eight weeks, I would get a call,” he said. He then answered the call to become a platelet donor in the early days of the apheresis program at CBC.
“When I started apheresis you went up the elevator to the second floor,” he said. “It was a needle in two arms and the tube went from one arm, over your head and through a warmer before going back in the other arm. If your nose itched you couldn’t do anything!”
Mike tries to donate platelets once a month. He’s a regular at the bi-monthly Wilmington Eagles Lodge blood drives and alternates monthly visits to the Dayton Donor Center. He made nine donations in 2016 and his milestone 300th donation was his seventh of the year.
“I knew I was getting close to 300,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like that many!”