FAIRBORN — Ann Bennington of Fairborn celebrated the season of giving and a “Donor for Life” milestone Monday, Dec. 23 when she made her 100th lifetime blood donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC).
A cancer survivor and soon to be a great-grandmother, she now joins her husband John as a 100 life-time donor. Both are former CBC Gift of Life Couriers and disaster relief volunteers.
Ann’s journey to her 100th donation milestone began when she was a co-ed at Ohio Northern.
“My first time I gave was in 1964,” she said. “I was in college. They let you out of classes for that day if you gave blood, so I donated and I didn’t have to go to class!”
Ann was soon married and raising two boys. Her biggest challenge was yet come, a long battle against breast cancer. “I would have had more than 100 donations by now,” she explained, “but when I had my cancer I couldn’t donate. It was breast cancer. One side, and then the other. I didn’t gave for maybe 10 years.”
Thought Ann is proud of the accomplishment of her 100th donation, she doesn’t dwell on the number.
“That’s not the most important thing,” she said. “The fact that I can give is important.” She appreciates that even more fully now because her husband John, after reaching his 105th donation last year, has been unable to donate because of illness.
They’ve had to cut back their volunteering, but they have good memories of transporting blood for CBC as Gift of Life Couriers and serving as disaster relief volunteers with the American Red Cross.
“They sent us all over the US” she said. “We did the food trucks. We went to so many places, where there had been floods, earthquakes, tornadoes. The flood areas were always the nastiest!”
She has a lot to look forward to in the New Year with a great-grandchild to be born in January.
She tried on her “Donor for Life – 100 LTD’ jacket over a fleece sweater with a snowflake print and reflected about giving at Christmas time and memories from her journey as a blood donor.
“I think the most pleasing was when I gave, and they said my blood was needed for children (her blood is CMV-negative, free from a virus harmful to children). They said they needed one more donation for a child at Children’s Medical Center. It’s important to help everyone, but a child… It made me feel so good.”
For more information about becoming a donor visit the all new www.GivingBlood.org.