Greenlee gives back with blood

(Jon Jaehnig/For the Gazette) Area Resident Dan Greenlee recently visited the UP Health System Hancock Blood Center where he donated his 20th gallon of blood.

HANCOCK — Area resident Dan Greenlee recently visited the UP Health System-Hancock Blood Center to donate his 20th gallon of blood. The Blood Center has a bulletin board to recognize donors who have given five or even 10 gallons of blood. There is not a wall for 20 gallons.

To put that 20 gallons in perspective, the average adult has between 1.2 and 1.5 gallons of blood. That means, Greenlee has donated roughly 11.5 people’s worth of blood. More significantly, one pint of blood can save as many as three lives. Greenland’s 20 gallons converts to 160 pints – enough to save 480 people.

Greenlee had never thought of it that way.

“That’s incredible,” Greenlee said after hearing the numbers. “I thought, ‘give a pint if a pint can help someone,’ but that’s wonderful.”

Greenlee started giving blood in 1984 for more casual reasons than one might expect from such a dedicated donor.

“In the early days, the D&N Bank where I worked would give you a couple of extra days off if you donated blood,” said Greenlee. “So I would give a few times a year but then I got into the routine. It’s so easy to do.”

A person is eligible to donate blood every 56 days. Giving blood is something that Greenlee does regularly but not religiously, pushing appointments for life events like vacations. As for the cost to Greenlee, all it has cost is time.

“Donating takes most people about four to six minutes,” said lead donor tech Rita Berger. “It can take longer, but usually it’s four to six minutes.”

Once the blood is collected from the donor, it is filtered and sent to the main blood center at UPHS-Marquette. They are responsible for the processing, typing, and testing of each unit. The blood is then sent to 13 hospitals throughout the U.P.

“There’s always a need for blood because there’s no substitute for blood,” said Berger. “Recently we have had a critical need for blood in the U.P.”

There’s never a better time to donate blood than the present but January is Blood Donor Appreciation Month. The UPHS-Hancock Blood Center plans to continue its tradition of promoting donor appreciation in the community that month, with a small token of their appreciation for each donor who comes in to donate blood.

“It’s painless, it’s easy to do, and they make you feel so welcome here,” said Greenlee. “It does a lot of good for a lot of people.”

Donors who are slightly nervous about donating blood can help the process to go smoothly by drinking lots of water the day before they donate and eating and drinking plenty before donating on the day of their appointment.

To schedule an appointment, call the Hancock office at (906) 483-1392 or stop in 787 market street in the Quincy Center near Pat’s Foods. The Hancock Blood Center drawing Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Walk-ins are welcome when openings are available but are encouraged to call ahead to check availability.

Schools, businesses, and organizations interested in hosting a blood drive at their location can call the Marquette blood Center at (906)449-1450 to set up a drive on-site.


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