Centerville donor Steve Bertles gave credit to his wife Jackie, a breast cancer survivor, for inspiring him to reach his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation with Community Blood Center at the Feb. 1 “Super Bowl Friday” donor party at the Dayton CBC Donor Center.
Steve was among the 80 donors who answered the call on Super Bowl Friday to help boost the blood supply after three days of brutal cold and snow that forced the cancellation of 11 blood drives.
As a local police officer, Steve is accustomed to answering the call to help others. He actually has more than 100 donations in his donor history. He started donating in Texas where his career was in computer technology. He moved to the Miami Valley in 1997 and was soon donating with CBC.
October Breast Cancer Awareness Month has special significance for Steve. “My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2006,” he said. “She made sure I kept donating. She’s a 12-year survivor now. Jackie can’t donate anymore, but for me it’s something I can do to help folks.”
Steve proudly shows off pictures of his family, including pictures of Jackie smiling bravely despite losing her hair to chemotherapy, and then fully recovered with the same proud smile. Both of their children are in the military. Son Tyler is a helicopter pilot stationed in Korea and is married with two children. Their daughter Sara is a senior at the Air Force Academy.
Steve is a true “Donor for Life” who routinely donates whole blood at the Dayton CBC and at City of Fairborn mobile blood drives. He drew closer to his milestone with five donations in 2018 and reached 100 with his first donation of 2019.