Bradenton blood donor reaches 100-gallon milestone

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BRADENTON – At OneBlood in Bradenton Monday, Donor Bill Pooley was celebrating his induction into the 100-gallon donor club.

The journey to this club started nearly 40 years ago, when he was 23.

“My son had a heart problem when he was born, and I went to All Children’s Hospital with him,” Pooley said. “Afterwards I decided to give back to the community and help people by donating blood.”

He donates platelets every two weeks like clockwork, specifically helping cancer and trauma patients.

“It makes me feel good that I can still do it, and i’ll keep doing it until I’m not able to,” Pooley said.

He’s still able to, but most in Pooley’s position probably wouldn’t.

Hereditary glaucoma caused him to lose his eyesight in 1988.

Now a taxi takes him to his biweekly appointment.

“[It’s] no different at all really,” Pooley said. “They take me back into the donor room where they hook me up to the platelet machine.”

Where he sits for a little over an hour, listening to audio books to pass the time.

He’s making friends along the way and wishing everyone would strive to be part of the 100-gallon club.

“There’s nothing to be nervous about; they take good care of you,” Pooley said. “There’s no pain, and there’s a lot of gain for other people.”

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