• Cardiology Patient Stories

    Top Blood Donors Give from the Heart

Michael Cape

Giving blood at Mayo’s onsite blood bank has become a regular part of Michael Cape’s life. He donates platelets every other Tuesday at 6 a.m. at Mayo Clinic in Florida’s onsite blood bank. So far, he has donated a total of over 59 gallons, making him one of the blood bank’s top donors.

“Donating is important to me because I feel like everyone should contribute to the community in some way,” explains Cape. “I choose blood donation as my civic service.” Cape donates platelets every two weeks.

Platelets are blood cells that help control bleeding. Usually, those in need of platelets are cancer or organ transplant patients who have weakened immune systems.

The entire process for donating platelets takes about an hour and a half. Donating whole blood takes 45 minutes to an hour. “Donating at Mayo has been a great experience,” says Cape. “The 6 a.m. appointment is perfect for me. I can get in, donate, have breakfast in the cafeteria and get to work by 8:30.”

His advice to those who may be reluctant: “Getting stuck with the needle is no worse than getting a shot,” he says. “And I’m positive that the person who receives the blood is in much worse pain than I had to endure to donate.”

Thomas Bucher is also a top donor at Mayo’s blood bank. Like Cape, he donates platelets every two weeks at 6 a.m. “Why shouldn’t I do it?” is his sentiment toward donating. “People are in dire need of platelets and there’s only one way to get them – through donors.” Bucher has donated 12 gallons during the past 3 years and has just had his 100th donation.

“There was a little girl at my daughter’s school who had a blood-related disease,” explains Bucher. “Knowing I can help kids like her makes me want to continue donating.”

The blood bank at Mayo Clinic is operated by The Blood Alliance, the sole provider of blood and blood products to our local hospitals, including the hospital on our campus. The Blood Alliance relies on volunteer donations to meet the increasing local demand for blood. All the blood donated through the Blood Alliance benefits local patients in area hospitals.

To donate, you must weigh more than 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old. During the process, you’ll need to complete a brief questionnaire to make sure blood donation is safe for you and the recipient.

The hours of operation for the Blood Alliance at Mayo Clinic are:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 6 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

For more information, call 904-953-6516 or visit MayoClinic.org/donate-blood-jax. You can call to make an appointment or stop by for a walk-in appointment.

Information on the Blood Donor Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Get iDon8, the official Blood Alliance app for your smartphone.


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