CHICAGO (CBS) — Wednesday is World Blood Donor Day, and one Northwest suburban man decided to mark it in an appropriate way.
“Basically I’ve been donating since I was a teenager,” Andy Seidler said.
Seidler, a 59-year-old Bartlett resident, said he started giving blood sporadically in 1975. Wednesday marks his 100th unit of blood donated with LifeSource, an organization that operates several donor centers located throughout the Chicago area.
According to Seidler, he started donating regularly after Hurricane Charley in 2004. “Since then, I realized the importance of being a blood donor, and I’ve been donating every eight weeks, almost to the day.”
You can donate anywhere between three and 24 times per year, depending on your type of donation and whether you are eligible to donate, according to LifeSource. There are standard qualifications every donor must meet, with most restrictions stemming from medical and travel history, LifeSource says.
Every unit of blood donated can help up to three people, Seidler says. Furthermore, he adds, the donor reaps some health benefits as well, including balancing the amount of iron in your blood and exercising your liver.
Seidler joked saying donating can be compared to getting regular oil changes for your car.
Some people think it’s painful to be stuck with a needle when donating blood, but for Seidler, the most painful part of a donation is ripping off the adhesive tape from his (“hairy”) arm.
On the bright side, as Seidler notes, juice and cookies await following the donation.