Rockford man donates 27th gallon of blood - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford man donates 27th gallon of blood

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The cold isn't enough to keep one man from saving lives, he's been doing it his whole life.

He just donated his 27th gallon of blood at the Rock River Valley Blood Center.

It was business as usual for one Rockford native, who started giving blood as a teenager. Now at age 80, he's only just starting to think about scaling back his donations.

Every eight weeks, like clockwork, Stanley Mattson makes his way to the RRVBC to donate. "It's so easy to do," he says. 'It's something that helps a lot of people, and every pint of blood can help two or three people."

Over the past 25 years, his blood might have helped save up to 648 lives, one pint at a time.  

Think of it like 27 gallons of milk or enough to fill up the gas tank on an average sized car, twice.  

But Stanley's getting older, and plans to give less frequently.

"I'm going to stop the every 8 weeks and let some other people get involved and 27 gallons was a milestone that we just said, that's a good one," says Stanley.  

There's not an age limit on donating blood, it just depends on your individual health.

"As you get older your vascular structure kind of diminishes, you don't make your red blood cells as quickly, you don't make as many of them," says Jen Bowman, with the RRVBC.  

RRVBC leaders hope someone will pick up where Stanley left off.

"And we encourage people to become lifelong donors and come in on a regular basis every 8 weeks. But that's kind of a challenge. And as we look at replacing the baby boomers with the next generation it's starting new habits amongst new people," says Jen.  

Even with Stanley's help, the RRVBC is still in need, especially of negative blood types and platelets.

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