Share Your Story

Release of Likeness

“It just makes you feel so good to give, knowing you could be saving someone’s life.” Pat is an 11-gallon donor and Memorial Blood Centers Northland Advisory Board Member.

As a popular and respected journalist, Pat Kelly was the voice and face of the news in the Duluth/Superior area for more than 30 years. He also has been a familiar presence at local blood drives over three decades as well.

“I think the first time I donated was in the mid-seventies when the radio station I was working at had a drive,” recalls Pat. “And then I really started donating regularly once my wife and I had kids. We wanted to set an example, taking the kids along with us so they could see us donating blood and we could demonstrate, by our examples, that it was the right thing to do.”

Pat has always been active in his community: participating in the annual Beach Sweep (a Lake Superior clean-up), donating to Goodwill, and volunteering at his children’s schools. But when it comes to blood donation, Pat has a special, more personal connection. “My wife was a nurse,” he explains, “and my three daughters were naturally curious about her job. By donating blood ourselves, we were able to teach them that an important part of nursing is to give blood to someone who needs it. We also were able to show them that blood doesn’t come from a store. People have to donate.”

In 2008, Pat retired from the airwaves but not from giving blood. “I’ve probably given about 95 times,” he added. “I have my 11-gallon pin but I’ve been donating since before they kept track. And it’s important that I continue, especially since I’m O-negative—a blood type that can go to anyone. I also try to help with Memorial Blood Centers’ high school drives, talking to kids about how blood donation is a good habit to start early in life. It’s really a rock-star feeling when you consider how much you can help, how you could be saving someone’s life.”