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A donor milestone

Rugby's Olson gives blood for the 100th time

December 14, 2009
Matt Mullally

Rugby resident Ron Olson began donating blood in 1968 and

41 years later he's still a regular donor, and last week he reached a very special milestone.

Olson gave blood for the 100th time, something that doesn't occur very often, according to Rich Larcombe, United Blood Services center manager.

"It would take a minimum of 20 years to reach that goal and there are only a couple dozen people that have ever reached that mark in our region,' he said.

Larcombe was at United Blood Services' blood drive in Rugby on Dec. 10 coordinated through the Rugby Knights of Columbus organization to congratulate Olson and present him with a plaque to recognize his achievement. The drive was conducted at Calvary Evangelical Free Church.

Ron gives blood three times a year and has kept meticulous records of all the dates. It's estimated he's donated over 12 gallons of A-Positive blood over the past four decades. It was a co-worker who encouraged Ron to give blood. "He was a regular donor and so one day I went along with him,' he said.

Olson worked for the Social Security Administration in Kansas City before retiring and returning to his native Rugby in 1990.

Ron kept an iron-on logo and slogan he received back in 1968 which he says best sums up the importance of donating blood.

The slogan read: Blood is like a parachute. If it's not there when you need it. Chances are you won't need it again.

Indeed, blood is critical to sustain life and Larcombe said Ron's has helped to save many lives by being a regular donor.

The blood drawn helps United Blood Services supply 71 hospitals across the state.



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