Lifesaving Donor and Recipient Stories

Bill Conroy: The Blood Alliance’s first 100-gallon donor:

“I joined the US Army in 1961.  It was around that time, ‘someone’ needed blood, and I was available and able to give. I joined nine of my friends, and they became regular blood donors to help that ‘someone’ named John, who turned out to be a hemophiliac. After donating, we stopped by a deli, bought sandwiches and brought it back to our clubhouse where we watched a game and were offered free drinks (because the ‘someone’ we donated for was a fellow club member).  It was too alluring!

I moved to Jacksonville in 1988 and most of my prior donations transferred into my new account with The Blood Alliance.

When someone asks me why I give blood, I tell the story of how ‘greed’ keeps me coming back. My 5-year-old grandson at that time asked me why I put money in a Salvation Army kettle. My response was that according to this book I read (the Bible), if you give to charity, you will receive 10-fold returns. So ‘greed’ is good, and I believe I’ve been given 10-fold returns – my wonderful family, life and friends!”


A Poem By Maren Cesarini:

Elixir my crimson gift, rich blood, through my veins, once flowing, is now beating, through the chambers, of a stranger's heart, gleaming, elixir of life, strengthen my new relation, restore vitality to thee, perfect stranger.

 However you choose to submit this valuable information, please realize that you are helping to convince others to donate and save lives in our community.

Please note that by submitting your story, you are granting permission for your story to be used in any written publication materials or for media use. You are also granting permission for your name and photograph to be used in association with your story, and for any photographs to remain the property of The Blood Alliance and/or the media. Thank you for sharing your story!

Donor Recipient Video - Patrick Davies

Donor Recipient Video - Andrin Espana

Donor Reaches 100 Gallon Level of Donation - Dean Willis

I started donating just like most other folks - a family member needed blood.  My wife's dad was having heart by-pass surgery back in 1975.  His surgery went well and I went on about life without giving another thought to donating blood for a few years.  I really don't remember why I did return to donate the second time, but I became a regular whole blood donor. A few years later I started giving platelets and stayed on a regular schedule. Just when I was about to quit again, I got a call asking if I would come in to donate early specifically for a child locally that was receiving produces on a frequent basis and had started rejecting the transfused platelets. 

My particular HLA and MHC was the closest match available in our region and that they needed me to donate before my next appointment to help this child.  I donated for that child two or three more times in a fairly short period of time and each time someone from the hospital was waiting to take the product directly to the hospital for immediate transfusion.

As I reflected on the turn of events, I determined that a power greater than I was trying to tell me that what I was doing was bigger than my personal interests and "comfort."  It was then that I decided to continue donating on a regular basis as long as my health and other determining factors made it possible.  So, here I am 100 gallons later. 

Marianne Limkeman
Highest female donor in Northeast Florida

I moved to Jacksonville in 1965 and was already a blood donor from Tallahassee.  I continued to give blood with the, then, Jacksonville Blood Bank, and began donating platelets using the outdated two-arm collection method. It was really hard to scratch my nose since both arms were being used to donate blood simultaneously!

I learned that my blood was being used by a specific patient who needed platelets. It was kind of neat, because I knew where my platelets were going. Just the idea of doing something for someone who really needed my help was why I first started donating. It’s a life saving gift, and that’s the reason why I continued donating. I plan on being an 80 gallon donor by the end of the year (2012).

I’ve always volunteered for different things, and this is one way of giving back to my community that a lot of people can’t do for one reason or another, either because they’re not healthy or simply not willing to do it.

Giving isn’t as painful as you think it’s going to be. You need to at least try it once!