When Rene Bodin, a finance analyst in Ridgeland, Miss., donated a pint of platelets on Oct. 22, he marked his 160th pint (20 gallons) at Mississippi Blood Services (MBS). He has donated platelets there for the past 17 years and last year, earned a Give Grant from MBS for donating more than 20 times in 2008.
Bodin first began donating blood to the American Red Cross in 1973 in Biloxi, Miss., and started donating platelets about 1990, when he worked in the Gulfport, Miss., office. In the earlier years, during the two-hour process of donating platelets blood was drawn from one arm, processed and replaced in the other arm. Now, blood is drawn from and returned to the same arm with the same needle. Bodin says he spends the two-hours entertained with a movie from MBS’ collection. With his O negative blood type, Bodin is considered a universal donor. “He is definitely one of our heroes - helping to save lives every day through his blood and platelet donations,” said Tina Lakey, district director, Mississippi Central District.