Ex-mayor honored for blood donations
Posted: October 9, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — It was a bittersweet Monday for former Winchester Mayor Charles Zuckerman.
The American Red Cross held a blood drive in his honor at the Hampton Inn, 1204 Berryville Ave., celebrating the slightly more than 38 gallons the 88-year-old has donated during his lifetime.
But Zuckerman won’t reach his goal of 40 gallons anytime soon after recently being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — which will need to be in remission for five years before he can donate again.
Zuckerman, who served as the city’s mayor from 1980 to 1988, has given blood 307 times. His first donation came in January 1949 at the Lions Club bloodmobile in Winchester, and he has been giving about six times each year ever since — other than a break from 1992 to 1997 after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
It would be foolish not to donate, Zuckerman said. “It saves people’s lives and it’s so simple.”
The approximately 38 gallons — or 307 pints — Zuckerman has donated deserves to be recognized, said Elizabeth Lewis, a donor recruitment representative at the American Red Cross Winchester office.
“The sheer volume is amazing,” she said.
The number of lives he has potentially saved is even more so, she added.
The Red Cross calculates that one pint can save three lives. That means that Zuckerman has potentially saved 912 lives.
According to the Red Cross, Zuckerman is one of 17 donors who has made 300 or more donations in the 100-county American Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region.
Although he can’t currently donate, he’s still doing what he can to encourage others to lend a vein.
He said he is always talking to people about the need for more donors, and he still volunteers to help at the blood drives.
The need is constant, he said, and it’s a shame that anyone should die as the result of a lack of donated blood.
The Red Cross Great Alleghenies Blood Services Region serves more than 80 hospitals and must have approximately 900 people donate blood or platelets each weekday to meet the needs of hospital patients.
To schedule an American Red Cross blood drive, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767), or visit redcrossblood.org.
Most healthy individuals who are at least 17 (16 with parental consent in Virginia) and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood.
— Contact Conor Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org