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Release of Likeness

Recently inducted into the 90-gallon club, Ralph has a deep sense of commitment, knowing that his donated platelets help premature babies survive.

Why does Ralph Douglass volunteer for apheresis donation? Initially, he’ll claim that it’s for selfish reasons. “It’s a great setup,” he says. “It’s easy to do. It’s a chance to sit down and watch a movie. I’m treated extremely well. And I look forward to going in every two weeks—I’m on a first-name basis with everyone.”

In truth, Ralph has a deep sense of the importance of his contribution to saving lives. A loyal blood donor for well over 30 years, he began donating platelets through apheresis on a twice-monthly basis several years ago. “It seems that there is something in my blood that helps premature babies survive,” commented Ralph. “I prefer apheresis donation because of the large number of platelets that can be collected. And as a runner, I’ve been able to run the next day with no side effects at all.”

Ralph speaks frequently to community groups about the importance of blood donation and was honored in 2010 with Memorial Blood Centers’ William L. Hall Award, in recognition of his dedicated commitment to increasing the number of blood donors and, as a result, the number of lives we are able to save in our communities.

Ralph’s ongoing giving is enthusiastically supported by his co-workers and boss at The Foursome in Plymouth where he showcases his official 55-Gallon Club certificate. “It’s wonderful to work for a place that understands the importance of blood donations,” he said. “My boss is a blood donor also, so if my apheresis runs 15 minutes late, he greets me with a pat on the back.”

“I don’t think people grasp how important this is, that there’s no replacement for blood,” Ralph added. “I’m amazed at how many people are afraid of a little needle stick, when for just three seconds of discomfort, you’re saving I don’t know how many lives. It’s literally a life-and-death situation.”