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Rob Hutchins 22 gallons of blood and counting

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By Debra Ramey

You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason.  

Some give blood because they were asked by a friend, some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day, and some believe it is the right thing to do.  

Giving just one pint of blood could save up to three lives.

Rob Hutchins, of Buffalo, has been giving blood since he was a college student at Elizabethtown Community College in the mid 1960’s. Since then he has donated blood four or five times each year.  

“There have only been two times I haven’t able to give: once after returning from serving in Vietnam and the second time after returning from vacationing in Mexico,” said Hutchins.

On each occasion, he had to wait a year before he could give again. Hutchins said he “would not have gone to Mexico” if he had known he wouldn’t be able to donate blood for such a long time.

One may say Hutchins is a pro when it comes to giving blood. He has given 22 gallons of blood so far and looks forward to giving more.

If one pint of blood can save up to three lives, Hutchins has potentially saved 528 lives.

 “It is a safe process and pretty painless. You may feel a little pinch, just for a moment, when the needle is inserted,” Hutchins said. 

Then in less than 15 minutes, it’s over. Most people feel fine after donating but a small number of people may feel lightheaded or dizzy, have an upset stomach or experience a bruise or pain where the needle was inserted.

Hutchins said he “donates blood because it gives him a feeling of satisfaction knowing he may be saving someone’s life.” 

Hutchins, who retired as 4-H agent at the LaRue County Extension Service, now works at the LaRue County Circuit Clerk’s office. 

After retirement, he also plans to volunteer at the blood drives.

The next blood drive in our area is Jan. 16 in Elizabethtown Blood Donation Center, 405 W. Dixie Highway, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Profiles of blood donors will be published each week in January in honor of National Blood Donor Month.