Incredible milestone as Red Cross supporter donates platelets for the 1,000th time in Roanoke

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Phillip Lucado has achieved quite a milestone for the American Red Cross. He has made his 1,000th platelet donation on Wednesday.

Lucado has been donating to the Red Cross facility in downtown Roanoke ever since he was 18 years old. He made his first donation in the 1970s and then switched to donating platelets in the mid-1990s.

According to the Red Cross, platelets are tiny cells that help your blood form clots and help you stop bleeding. These cells are also vital to surviving fighting cancer, chronic diseases, and traumatic injuries. When someone donates platelets they have the chance to save up to three lives. With every donation Lucado has made — according to our calculations — he has impacted roughly 3,000 lives with his selfless donations.

The process behind donating isn’t quick. According to the Red Cross website, it takes about three hours to donate from start to finish. During this process, the donor will answer a 30-minute health history questionnaire and the machine is set up for each person specifically. After the setup process is completed, it takes close to two hours as the blood is separated and the platelets are collected.

For the past several decades, Lucado spent 2,000 hours in the chair giving platelets. Based on a 40 hour work week, with two weeks of vacation, he put in one full year of work.

If you are thinking about donating platelets you can donate every seven days, up to 24 times a year. The Red Cross also made a note on their website that all types of blood — except O negative and B negative — are urged to donate. For O negative and B negative, the biggest impact those people can make is donating whole blood. The blood type with the most impact on platelet donating is AB blood.

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