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500th Blood Donation by Chicago Man Marked With Celebration

a unit of blood
A Chicago man made his 500th blood donation recently. (Yothinsanchai777/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 October 2018 11:53 AM

Richard Packman made his 500th blood donation on Friday morning and to mark the occasion, staff at Chicago's Vitalant office in the Loop pulled out all the stops.

Photos shared to the center's Facebook page show balloons and party streamers decorating the room, and the 74-year-old was even presented with a special cake as he sat in the chair to donate his platelets.

Packman made his first blood donation two decades ago but later learned about becoming a platelet donor, The Chicago Tribune noted.

According to The Red Cross, blood platelets are essential for surviving and fighting cancer, chronic diseases, and traumatic injuries, and there is a constant need for donors as a person requires platelets every 30 seconds.

A special machine is used to extract the platelets then returns the blood back to the donor. The procedure takes about three hours, and Packman has spent over 1,000 hours in a chair, selflessly donating his blood and platelets, but he said it was all worth it.

"I really enjoy being a platelets donor because you really know you're saving lives," he told The Chicago Tribune.

Packman is one of Vitalant's few regular donors but he shrugged it off, saying that he liked the chair he so frequently sat in. It helped to know he was saving a life.

"This is the one I stuck with the longest because you actually get an opportunity to save someone," he said, adding that he planned to continue donating his platelets and encouraged others to do so as well.

"Just remember one thing: It's better to give than to receive," he said.

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A Chicago man made his 500th blood donation on Friday, and staff at Chicago's Vitalant office marked the occasion with balloons and cake.
500th, blood, donation, chicago
Wednesday, 17 October 2018 11:53 AM
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