WEIRTON, W.Va.- (WTRF) Rolling up his sleeves is like second nature for one Ohio man.
Al Whitney of Cleveland is only nine donations away from reaching one thousand platelet donations.
The 84-year-old came out to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Weirton Monday to participate in the Weirton Community Blood Drive.
Whitney is trying to reach his goal especially because there is a critical blood shortage.
According to Vitalant, people can donate their platelets every two weeks, but can only give whole blood every 56 days.
Whitney says he has donated a total blood five gallons of blood, but prefers donating his platelets because he can give more often.
Whitney says, “You donate blood. You’re going to let a father walk his daughter down the aisle. You’re going to see a mother see her son graduate from college and you’re going to see a young couple take their baby home from the hospital because of that hour that you gave up.”
Since communities are reopening as the pandemic winds down, Vitalant is encouraging people to give blood and platelets because people are seeking more medical care that they had postponed.
Earlier this year, Whitney also completed his goal of donating platelets twice in all 50 states.
Vitalant, formerly Central Blood Bank, is the nation’s largest independent blood bank.