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Ironton man records 90th blood donation

Mike Pearson said he first gave blood a couple of weeks after joining the Navy in 1964, and at just shy of 50 years of helping to save lives, he is starting on his 12th gallon of his highly sought after blood type.

According to American Red Cross, only seven percent of people in the United States have the O-negative blood type, which is especially important due to anyone, regardless of their own blood type, being able to receive it. Pearson is one of these rare universal donors.

“I’m not a saint or anything like that. I just do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Pearson said. “I could blow smoke, but the truth of the matter is I’m just glad to live in this country and be able to do it.”

Just shy of his 66th birthday, Pearson said he has given more than the 90 times and 11 gallons, those numbers are just when he started keeping track with the Red Cross.

Pearson said he usually feels better after giving blood, something he said he cannot explain, just that he feels different and with more energy after getting off the table. He said no one should ever let their age stop them from donating.

“I have a lot of people tell me ‘I’m just too old to give blood,’” Pearson said. “But evidently not, because they still keep taking mine.”

He said everyone interested should at least attend a blood drive and see if they are eligible to give. At worst, a little time is wasted, but at best, he said lives can be saved.

The American Red Cross says that someone needs blood in the United States every two seconds and a single car accident victim can require as much as 100 pints of blood. One person can donate one pint every 56 days.

Pearson said he will keep giving until he cannot anymore and considers every minute donating and every pint taken to be worth it if saves even just one life.