Trotwood donor Ralph Simmons will proudly wear the “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket he received for making his milestone 100th blood donation with Community Blood Center on June 29. But he say more recognition than he never expected came from a simple t-shirt.
“I was wearing one of my blood donor t-shirts, said Ralph, “and I actually had people thank me for donating. You don’t know who received your blood.”
Ralph started impacting the lives of others by donating at an early age. “I’m from western New York, north of Buffalo,” he said. “I used to give up there. The first time was in high school. I was 17. We had a blood drive at the fire station in our little town. We had about half our class of 50 or 60 people I graduated with.”
Ralph works for Tom Smith Industries in Englewood. He and his wife Esther have been married 17 years. He started donating with CBC in 2006. His milestone donation at CBC came the day after the annual JD’s Old Fashioned Custard “Give a Pint, Get a Pint Blood Drive” in Englewood. It has special significance for Ralph.
“When I first started it was back at JD’s Frozen Custard, the first time the mobile was there 13 years ago,” he said. “I was with friends of mine and I thought it was the opportunity to give blood that I’d been looking for. I’ve been doing it ever since then.”
He donated every year at JD’s. Then he became a regular supporter of Englewood, Northmont and Vandalia area blood drives. But he’s been a regular donor at the Dayton CBC since 2014 when he began donating platelets and plasma.
“They asked me about giving platelets, and that’s been about five years ago,” he said. The frequency of his donations increased, averaging close to the maximum eligibility of 24 annual donations the past two years. He reached his 100th donation with his ninth donation of 2018.
“It’s not hard to do,” Ralph said, downplaying the many hours he spends in the donor chair. “The staff here makes it a very bearable situation!”