90 Gallons and Counting

Published 03/20 2014 09:46AM

Updated 03/20 2014 10:04AM

It’s a normal Wednesday for Colchester’s John Villere

Villere makes bi-weekly trips to the American Red Cross Donor Center in Burlington.

"Every 2 weeks, maybe for 10 years."

Villere started donating in the 70's.

“My ex-wife was a nurse and she suggested that we donate blood one time and I told her that I was deathly afraid of needles." Villere says as he sits palms up, with needles in both arms.

John started donating whole blood in the 70's, but moved to platelets about twenty years ago. Donating platelets takes nearly two hours, and in most cases, requires both arms.

“It comes out of one arm and they put it in a centrifuge,” Villere explains. “When you spin it, it settles in a different place and then they skim off the platelets and put the rest back in the other arm.”

Platelets help the blood clot and transfusions are helpful in many cases, including for leukemia and heart patients.

Neither John nor anyone in his life has ever needed a blood transfusion, but he’s still donated lots of blood; approaching 93 gallons. He’s shooting for over a hundred.

“You've got an opportunity to really make a difference in people's lives. Isn't that an amazing thing to really make a difference in people's lives?"

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