Pumping out the gift of life

Locals donate to Loomis Community Blood Drive
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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A donation vital to saving lives is measured in pints and gallons, not dollars. It’s a valuable gift blood donors give regularly during the Loomis Community Blood Drive and it adds up over the years. At 194 pints, Frank Bailey, of Loomis, is close to hitting the 25-gallon donation mark. The 60-year-old United States Postal Service mail handler said he has been a blood donor since 1968 and did it even when he lived in Milpitas for 19 years. “I’ve always been interested in it, my father being Dr. Nick Bailey,” he said. “When I was 18, I realized that it’s needed for almost all surgeries. It’s something that I can contribute to the community and it doesn’t cost anything. It’s a good way to help out.” Bailey also gives back to the community through his work with Scouting and his church, the First United Methodist Church of Loomis. John Jordan, 59, said he has donated blood as long as he can remember. “It’s painless and it helps people,” Jordan said. He started years ago in Montana, during the Vietnam War, “because they needed it – it was the right thing to do.” He’s being donating every since. “On record here I have over 50 pints, but overall since the early 1970s, I have no idea,” Jordan said. Jordan, a sales representative for an electrical supply company, has lived in Loomis for 27 years and has been a donor since before the blood drive was moved to the Blue Goose Fruit Shed from the Fellowship Hall at the Methodist church. Although he donates regularly at the blood drive held every other month, Jordan doesn’t consider his O-type blood to be special. “But my wife, Jasmine, does … She’s AB negative,” a universal donor type, he said. The Loomis blood drive is operated by BloodSource. The technicians, Jordan said, are “wonderful people who do a great job. I’ve never had an unpleasant experience … they’re all very professional.” Corey Cherrstrom, a retired veterinarian and one of the founders of the Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic, was until recently the chairman for the Loomis blood drive. At over 80 pints, he’s also a 10-gallon blood donor. Ironically, the first time he tried to donate blood in the late 1960s while in college he was turned away. “I tried to give blood to my high school friend who had a broken neck, in Southern California where I grew up,” Cherrstrom said. “I’d had mononucleosis a year before, and there was a waiting period before they allowed people to give blood who’d had mono.” It would be another 10 years, when he was living in Loomis, that he would finally start donating blood. “It’s something I can do, for somebody else’s benefit. I know there’s a lot of people who can’t, because of physical reasons or it's too painful. I feel I can do it, so I do it as often as I can,” Cherrstrom said. ----------------------------- LOOMIS COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVE What: Donations of all blood types needed When: 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 Where: Blue Goose Fruit Shed, 3550 Taylor Road Who: All ages, as young as 16 with parental consent Appointments: Not necessary Information: Call Gayle Graves at 453-3042