For the past 34 years, postal worker Marcos Perez spends two hours donating his blood every two weeks at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.
According to KENS-TV, Perez donates platelets, a blood component that allows him to donate more often than if he were donating whole blood or double red blood cells. Perez does it to save lives, saying, “They might live an extra day, a year, a month, who knows. Maybe they will live forever. Don’t cost me a dime, only some time. I’m 57 and I’ve already got 100 gallons!”
Perez explains that he donates blood because he was born a premature baby, and needed a blood transfusion. “When I was growing up, my dad told me a friend of his donated blood for me,” Perez said. “His name was Mr. Aguilar. He took the time to donate, so he saved my life.” Ever since someone was kind enough to donate blood for him, he has decided to return the favor.
Perez is the fourth person in South Texas to pass the 100-gallon mark and this milestone comes at a crucial time for the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, as they tend to see a decline in blood donations during the summer months. “Mr. Perez is what you’d consider an All Star for the blood community here in South Texas,” said Roger Ruiz, a corporate communications specialist for the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC). “Mr. Perez has probably saved patients going through cancer treatments, patients who have been in car accidents, patients who have blood disorders.”
On Wednesday, family members and employees at STBTC celebrated the big milestone for Perez as he joins the ranks with Ron White, who donated his 115th of blood last week.
Perez says he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon and he told KENS-TV: “If you make time to go eat, you make time to go to the movies, you can make time to come donate,” Perez said. “Just make some time. Give from the heart. That’s what it takes. You gotta give from the heart.”
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[Featured Image Credit: KENS-TV]