A local husband and wife have made it their mission to do something good for their community by donating blood, and are encouraging others to join them.
Jerry and Barb Shively are both longtime donors with Hoxworth Blood Center, with Barb having over 70 lifetime blood donations to her name and Jerry with over 200.
“I first started donating blood because someone I knew needed blood, and at that time patients were asked to “pay back” the blood after having a blood transfusion,” Barb remembered.
Barb “paid back” that blood years ago, but she herself received a blood transfusion during a back surgery years ago--and has since made a commitment to help others by donating regularly.
But Barb hasn’t stopped with her own blood donations; she’s asked her community to join her. This past December, Barb even sent a letter to the editor of the Delhi Press, encouraging her community to roll up a sleeve.
“I feel an obligation to alert people about the importance of blood donations and how easy it is to give blood if you take the time,” Barb said. “My husband is always saying that every bed should be filled every day, however; many times he is the only person donating.”
Jerry has been donating for years, but first rolled up a sleeve because he “wanted to do a service. We were told that by donating we could help someone, and maybe save their life. That was enough for me.” For years, Jerry donated platelets every two weeks; he now donates “super plasma” units every four weeks.
He, too, has made a point of encouraging others to donate. Barb and Jerry’s daughter, Holly, has followed her parents’ example and donates blood whenever she is able.
While they donate whenever they can, advocating for Hoxworth has become just as important to the couple, as they understand that a few hours of time can literally save lives.
“This is my way of helping someone that is not as fortunate as I, and hopefully saving a life,” Jerry said. “I make the time because I feel that the time and the stick that I experience is insignificant to what the recipient is experiencing.”
Barb agrees, adding, “Anyone who might be nervous or unsure of giving blood should consider that the small amount of discomfort from a needle stick is a small price to pay to possibly save a life.”
THANK YOU to Barb and Jerry for their dedication to being lifesaving blood donors for Hoxworth! If you would like to join them in donating, call 513-451-0910 or visit www.hoxworth.org.