Blood drive’s lucky 26

The Thanksgiving blood drive at Hood River Elks yielded 82 total pints of blood donated, just shy of the goal of 84, said coordinator Margo Parker.

Among the donors at the American Red Cross event on Nov. 29 was Margo Earley of Mt. Hood-Parkdale, who reached her 26-gallon milestone — though it was the first time she had given at the annual Hood River Elks blood drive.

“I give every eight weeks, and though I don’t do it religiously, to give 208 units you have to be fairly faithful,” said Earley, a retired professional singer who was joined by her husband, George, also a regular donor.

“I usually donate at headquarters in Portland, but I try to time my appointments so they coincide with (donation events there).”

“It’s the only physical thing I can do for other people while I am still alive, without doing harm to myself, to benefit people who are not as healthy as I am,” Margo said.

Her first memory of donating, some 40 years ago, is “vague.”

“I remember we were told to fast before donating, and I got dizzy and I don’t remember if I was able to complete the donation or not, but that was the philosophy.”

Asked how she feels these days after giving, Earley said, “Fine. I don’t feel any effects. If I were to run up stairs I’d feel it, that day, but I go right on with my life.”

“I remember years ago when we lived in Connecticut, a church in Windsor had a blood drive the day after Thanksgiving every year, and George and our two sons would leave four pints of good Earley blood, and we did it for years, and it was part of our family tradition; I was glad to come in the day after Thanksgiving.

“It is my pleasure and privilege to do this.”

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The next Hood River Bloodmobile visit will be Jan. 25 at the Hood River Armory.

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