A Donor's Story: Jill & Pete

Jun 8 8:05am | Kayla Mulhern | @kaylam1

Jill Hill has been donating blood since high school. Recently, after she made her 48th donation, it occurred to her that her husband, Pete, had yet to donate. He didn’t like needles, for one. For another, as a teen he was labeled borderline diabetic and subsequently assumed he couldn’t donate. “He likely put something like blood donation out of his mind during his younger years and never explored the possibility later in life,” says Jill.

To encourage her husband to donate, Jill suggested making his first time a “date,” where they would donate as a couple. Pete agreed. “I honestly believed that one had to be the absolute picture of health to qualify as a blood donor,” he says. “Being obese and Type 2 diabetic as an adult, I thought my blood could actually hurt someone else. Thankfully, I was wrong.”

Pete’s first donation went off without a hitch, which convinced him to become a regular donor. In fact, after learning his blood is Type A-positive, he plans to make a “double-red” donation in the future, whereby two units of red blood cells are separated out via a special machine. He’d also like to make donating blood a family tradition once the kids are old enough.

But for now, the couple enjoys their kid-free time when they donate. “Doing it as a date guarantees we will get some quality time at least once every 12 weeks,” says Jill, who encourages other couples to give blood together. “And who doesn’t love free cookies?”

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our webpage http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

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