Merlin Becker, of Manawa, has hit a milestone for blood donations.
He has given 22 gallons of blood – 176 units – in his lifetime.
Becker donates during Community Blood Drives in Manawa.
“I started giving blood because a member of my staff in the early 1960s needed an operation,” Becker said. “I was working at Aid Association for Lutherans (now Thrivent Insurance). In those days, a person liked to have as many units of blood donated in their name so they would not have to pay for what was needed.”
A few years later, another staff member asked him to donate, and the Community Blood Center suggested he begin donating year around.
“Well, the rest of the story is history,” Becker said.
He asked the blood center how old a person may be and still give blood. The answer was “as long as you want.”
The only requirements are to maintain healthy iron levels and report any changes in medications.
“I tell people that at my age I must be giving tired blood,” Becker said.
He has also donated 61 units of plasma, at the Community Blood Center in Appleton.