Centerville donor Tony Lehman is in it for the long haul. He’s a marathon runner who wants to complete a 26.2 miler in every state. He’s also a “Donor for Life” who crossed the finish line of his 100th lifetime blood donation Jan. 16 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
Tony tries to average four whole blood donations a year. He made five donations in 2017 and reached his milestone with his first donation of 2018. He had the satisfied looked of a runner making a victory lap.
“It means that I’ve been able to contribute something to society,” Tony said. “It’s something I can do, and it’s being used for some good. Not everyone can, but I’m able to.”
For the record, Tony now has 100 donations with CBC. “My original donation was in ’93 when I lived in Fort Wayne,” he said. “My actual total is 118. I started donating with CBC in ’98 when I moved to Centerville.”
Tony works in commercial real estate and takes advantage of a flexible schedule to keep his consistent donation schedule. He’s motivated because he knows his blood type is O positive, the universal donor type for all Rh positive patients.
Staying healthy has been a big part of reaching 100 donations, and he must balance his donations with his training and racing. “I don’t donate when I’m getting ready to run a marathon,” he said. “I’m trying to run a marathon in every state and I have 18 to go! My last one was in November in Philadelphia, and my plan is to run one in Salt Lake City on April 21.”
But first he will take time to celebrate. “I’m thinking of a big steak dinner tonight!” he said. Tony and his wife Toni have three daughters, and the oldest is also a blood donor.
He’s quick to acknowledge the cuteness of being part of a “Tony and Toni” couple. “All our emails start with ‘TNT’ for Tony ‘n Toni,” he said. “We’re dynamite, baby!”