For over 40 years Joanne Gauzens has donated whole blood and platelets in Florida. This year on Valentine’s Day she will again share her gift of love and achieve her 125 Gallon Donor Milestone. Joanne will join the exclusive club of less than two dozen women that have reached this milestone since blood banking began during the Second World War! She has helped to save or sustain many hundreds of lives and families!
In reflecting upon her upcoming donor milestone Joanne shared this reflection with OneBlood:
“My mother always told me to donate blood. It was something that I had and others needed. When I was 21 my husband and I began donating at our church in Miami around 1977, laying on tables in the school hall. When the church discontinued the blood drives, we went to Mt. Sinai Hospital where they accepted walk-ins. When we moved to Pinellas County, we continued donating whenever possible even being put on Hunter Blood Center’s “Emergency Call” list. My husband traveled quite a bit so he stopped donating as often. I continued regularly, only stopping when I was pregnant or recuperating from surgeries.”
“As I am now approaching my 125 gallon, I am reminded of the reason I starting donating platelets. My older sister died of leukemia in 1966 at the age of 24 after being diagnosed only 2 weeks before. This process was not available when my sister was sick. So, if I can give someone a few more months with their family by donating life extending platelets, then I feel I am selfish not to do so. A nurse once told me that I am her angel. Her husband was dying and through platelet donations, she had an additional 6 months that she cherishes. That is why I donate and will continue to donate as long as I am physically able.”
“All the members of my family have donated either whole blood or platelets. Husband, Alan – 21.5 gallons; children Stephanie – almost 2 gallons; Nicole – 1 gallon; William – 25 gallons and Mark – 1 gallon. I told them when they were growing up, they must find some way to volunteer in life. Donating blood is the easiest and cheapest way to volunteer and it does so much good for the community.”
Generally, healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. All donors receive a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screening, plus a surprise gift.
To learn more about the importance of blood donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type, visit oneblood.org or call 1.888.9DONATE (1.888.936.6283).
Joanne Gauzens 125 Gallon Donor Milestone Celebration
Friday, February 14
10am – 12pm
OneBlood Palm Harbor Donor Center
33825 US Hwy. 19 N.
Palm Harbor, FL 34684