Dayton donor James “Jim” Hume takes long distances in stride. A steady walking pace has carried him through marathon races. On Aug. 30 he took the same approach to completing his milestone 200th lifetime blood donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
Jim worked 32 years at Delco Moraine and retired after the plant closed. “I donated at several mobiles there and some down here,” at the Dayton CBC, he said.
Jim has two daughters and two grandchildren. He lost his wife Debbie in 2011. They were married 36 years. Her memory inspires him to keep donating.
“My wife died of cancer,” Jim said. “She used tons of platelets. She had leukemia twice. It started with breast cancer. She had it for 21 years. I’m trying to give back.”
He began donating platelets in 2002 and has been donating apheresis exclusively since 2009.
He considers his 200 lifetime donations secondary compared to Debbie’s older brother Kenzie Campbell. Kenzie is also an apheresis donor and has 284 lifetime donations. They share the inspiration of Debbie’s memory. “That’s why he gives so often,” said Jim.
It’s been a milestone year for Jim in other profound ways. “We had our 50-year Marine Corps class reunion this summer in San Francisco,” he said. He served from 1968 to 1971 when he said, “Vietnam was hot and heavy.” He said he was fortunate that his unit wasn’t sent to the war, but they lost six classmates whose names are now “on the Wall” of the Vietnam Memorial.
Jim stays in shape with his marathon walking. “I’ve done the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati and some half-marathons,” he said, “All walking. I’m doing a half-marathon in two weeks. I make myself do it!”
He stays busy by working part-time at the Dayton Airport Gift Shop, where it’s easy to take time off when he’s ready to fly to California to see his grandchildren. “It gives me a nice place to go visit,” he said.
Jim’s pace is both steady and steadfast. He reached his milestone 200th donation with his seventh donation of 2018. It’s the dedicated pace of a “Donor for Life.”