Cumberland man makes his 800th blood donation

By News Staff

Reporting by Kainani Stevens

One Cumberland man is taking his role as a blood donor to a whole new level. A ceremony was held today in his honor as he makes his 800th donation over the last 30 years.

At the Rhode Island Blood Center in Providence, frequent flyer, Joe Pailthorpe, quite literally has a donation chair with his name on hit.

"Everything I do, once I start it, I keep going," says Joe. "I have a lot of friends in the community and at the blood center. Its all very fulfilling."

Joe is estimated to have given at least 100 gallons of blood over the years, and more importantly, he often donates platelets–which are always in high demand.

"If we don’t have platelets ready and available, people die. People can’t have surgery because platelets are only good for five days," says Patricia Lang, Director of Cellular Therapies of the Rhode Island Blood Association.

Platelets are often used to help treat cancer patients, something that hits close to him for Joe, as his niece is currently undergoing cancer treatments herself.

"She is battling cancer and she’s battling very well. I want to dedicate this honor to her," he says.

Joe may be making his 800th donation, but he isn’t getting any special treatment. He still has to fill out his registration forms and get a physical before every single donation, just like everyone else.

© WLNE-TV 2015