The Millers 'Share The Love' Through Regular Blood Donation
Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 1:33AM
Laurie Brady - Webmaster

Celebrating 40 years of marriage this past January, Gary and Peggie Miller of Gladwin, Mich. say they love to do almost everything together. Dating back to the early years, Peggie recalls volunteering to be the scorekeeper during Gary’s slow-pitch softball games and his “clock gal” during his hockey seasons – just to be with him.

They also made the commitment years ago to donate blood together.

“We have always enjoyed doing things together; I think everything is more fun with a buddy,” says Peggie. “Donating blood is such an easy thing to do, and the rewards of giving to help others far outweigh the slight effort.”

They began by donating whole blood, but shortly thereafter Peggie noticed a sign that encouraged donors to ask about apheresis.

“After seeing that, I asked the staff what apheresis was and decided to try it,” adds Peggie. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Traditionally, blood donation involves drawing a single unit of whole blood. But there's another option in which a person can donate one blood component (platelets, plasma, white blood cells or red cells) at a time. Through a process called apheresis, the person can donate with a special machine that draws their blood, filters out the needed component, and returns the rest of their blood back to them.

Every four weeks, Gary and Peggie make the 1.5 hour drive together to donate platelets through apheresis at the Michigan Blood Saginaw Donor Center. During the winter months they donate whole blood in Gladwin, due to the unpredictable weather conditions for driving.

 

“We’ve had two close relatives who needed platelets to help in their personal battles with cancer,” explains Peggie. “Experiencing their needs just solidified in our minds the need for this type of donation.”

Through their long-term commitment together as blood donors, Gary has reached 18 gallons and Peggie has reached 17 gallons, respectively. Gary and Peggie like to tell others that everyone gets something different out of the experience of donating blood, but the bottom line is – if you’ve never done it, you can’t imagine the satisfaction. You benefit from helping others.

Michigan Blood thanks the Miller family for their dedication to the mission of saving lives through blood donation and joins them in their challenge to others to become regular blood donors. What better way to spread the love than by bringing a guest with you to donate blood or blood components?

Article originally appeared on Michigan Blood (http://www.miblood.org/).
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