Union donor Thomas “Tom” Ferdelman is truly a “donor for all seasons” who accepts every opportunity to help save lives. The “Donor for Life” journey to his milestone 100th lifetime donation July 27 at the Dayton Community Blood Center has included whole blood, platelets, plasma, and bone marrow donations.
Tom began donating at mobile blood drives in the Englewood area in 1999. “I just decided to do it,” he said. “I figured someone needs it. “We’ve got two guys at work right now that are off with cancer. Someone always needs blood, and someone always needs platelets.”
Tom has worked at Frito-Lay in Dayton for 29 years. He made his first plasma donation at the Dayton CBC in 2008, and his first platelet donation in 2011. He is well aware of the vital need for platelets for the treatment of cancer patients.
“My mom passed away from leukemia four years ago,” Tom said.
Tom averages about six donations per year. He donates platelets and plasma at least twice a year at the Dayton CBC, and donates at the Ginghamsburg Church blood drive once a year. He reached his milestone 100th donation by donating whole blood. It was his fourth donation of 2018, which has included two apheresis donations.
Tom volunteered for the bone marrow donation registry about 10 years ago was matched with a patient in need of a transplant. He donated through the centrifugation method. He received injections of a medication that draws more stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood. He then donated the cells through apheresis.
“It was about a six-hour centrifuge process at a center in Washington, D.C.,” said Tom. His blood donations have commonly helped patients across the Miami Valley, but this donation was soon on an international flight. “I know mine went to a guy in Ireland,” he said.