In the shadow of loss, Peter continues to donate platelets every two weeks.
Every two weeks, like clockwork, Peter Izmirian arrives at Memorial Blood Centers to give a double donation of platelets.
The day he donated his 70th gallon, he also shared his story.
Peter made his first blood donation in January of 1986. “I was a veterinary nurse at the time,” he said. “My boss invited me to attend a blood drive in the west metro.” He became a regular donor, giving 8 gallons of whole blood over the next several years. After that, he switched to donating platelets “so I could give more, and because it adds up faster.” His next 62 gallons of donations—and counting—have been platelets.
Many people who are retired like Peter enjoy donating regularly. But Peter’s retirement turned out differently than he expected. He invested his entire retirement savings with a local man who promised to manage the funds well. Instead, the man embezzled nearly every penny of Peter’s retirement. He now lives month-to-month on Social Security income, barely making ends meet.
Despite his loss, Peter still comes to Memorial Blood Centers every two weeks, bringing kindness, joy, and great stories to the blood centers collections staff.
“I feel like I’m important here,” Peter said. “I feel like family.”
Peter’s story was printed in the Christmas Day edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Read his story here. Photo credit: Gail Rosenblum