NEW ULM- The Red Cross began its fall blood drive on Wednesday at Vogel Fieldhouse in New Ulm.
Long-time donor Don Brand gave his 168th unit of blood. That's 21 gallons of life-saving blood!
Brand began donating blood after his discharge from the Army in 1955. On average he donates three times a year. He has type O negative blood, which is considered the universal donor. O negative blood is sometimes difficult to keep in adequate supply. Only 8 percent of caucasians have O negative blood, according to the Red Cross.
Staff photo by Clay Schuldt
Don Brand of New Ulm donated his 168th unit of blood, which is 21 gallons of blood, on Wednesday during the Red Cross Blood Drive at Vogel Fieldhouse. Amy Busall is prepping Brand for the procedure. Brand started giving blood in 1955.
Brand lives by the motto that service to mankind is the best cause, and he continues to volunteer whenever he is needed. At age 81, Brand will continue to donate blood as long as he is able, he said. He hopes to hit 22 gallons by 2017.
Brand's most memorable blood donation occurred 30 years ago. He was working at KNUJ when Union Hospital called asking the radio station to air an announcement that several blood donors were needed for a woman giving birth. Brand and another KNUJ employee Perry Galvin volunteered to be emergency donors. The woman recovered thanks to the blood donations. Years later Brand had the chance to visit the woman and her now-adult son who lived in St. Peter.
On Wednesday the goal was 196 units of blood, and 184 units were received.
The blood drive continues today at Vogel Fieldhouse from 1-7 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Red Cross is asking that individuals capable of giving double red/platelets to donate.
Donors honored on Wednesday for gallon achievements were:
5 gallons - Regina Kloeckl; 6 gallons - Bonnie Roebbeke; 8 gallons - Janet Steffl; 9 gallons - Donny Sellner; 13 gallons - Michael Rewitzer; 15 gallons - Alan Schwarz; 16 gallons - Judy Dorn; 19 gallons - Marlys Matties; and 21 gallons- Don Brand.