Feb. 14, 2020
Joanne Gauzens, the director’s secretary at Pinellas Technical College – Clearwater, will be recognized today by OneBlood for donating 125 gallons to the blood bank. For over 40 years, Joanne has donated whole blood and platelets in Florida. This year on Valentine’s Day, she will again share her gift of love and achieve her 125 Gallon Donor Milestone. She will join the exclusive club of less than two dozen women that have reached this milestone since blood banking began during the second World War. Joanne has helped to save or sustain many hundreds of lives and families.
Reflection on the donor milestone, Joanne shared this with One Blood: “As I am now approaching my 125 gallons, I am reminded of the reason I started donating platelets. My older sister died of leukemia in 1966 at the age of 24 after being diagnosed only two weeks before. This process was not available when my sister was sick. So, if I can give someone a few more months with their family by donating life-extending platelets, then I feel I am selfish not to do so. A nurse once told me that I am her angel. Her husband was dying and through platelet donations, she had an additional 6 months that she cherishes. That is why I donate and will continue to donate as long as I am physically able.”
Generally, healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. All donors receive a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screening, plus a surprise gift. To learn more about the importance of blood donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type, visit oneblood.org or call 1.888.9DONATE (1.888.936.6283).