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Albion man reaches 20-gallon milestone for donating blood

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2016 at 7:37 pm

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Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Fred Miller, the owner of a hardware store in downtown Albion and also an Orleans County legislator, gives blood today as a double red donor. He is pictured with Cindy Fraser, a donor specialist for the American Red Cross.

Miller said he first gave blood when he was 19. He become a regular donor in his mid-30s. It takes eight donations to reach a gallon, unless it’s a double red which counts for two pints.

Donors can give every 56 days or every 112 days if it’s a double red, where more red blood cells are taken.

Miller holds a pin noting he was a 20-gallon blood donor.

Miller holds a pin noting he is a 20-gallon blood donor.

“I’ve been blessed to be fortunate enough to give,” Miller said during the blood drive today at the Elks Club in Albion. “I’m fortunate I’ve been healthy because you can’t give if you aren’t healthy.”

Miller, 63, has been a regular at the blood drive for about 25 years. He typically heads over after he closes the hardware store at 5 p.m.

“It’s something we can do because blood isn’t man-made and may never be,” he said.

The Red Cross says each pint donation can be used by as many as three people. Miller has given the equivalent of 160 pints, and potentially saved nearly 500 lives, he was told by Fraser, the donor specialist.

“You just gave me goosebumps,” Miller responded.

Terri Gannon, a supervisor with the Red Cross, said there are still many dedicated regular donors like Miller, but the Red Cross would welcome many more.

“You don’t see it every day,” she said about someone reaching the 20-gallon mark.

About 45 people were expected to give blood at today’s drive at Elks Club.

“For some people it is a way of giving and helping the community,” Gannon said. “It doesn’t cost you anything but your time.”

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