Platelet donors reach milestone - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Platelet donors reach milestone

Valdosta - Jimmy Griffis and Linda Harris are real life heroes. "It's not often that you really get the chance to save a life," said Harris.

"It just helps them so much, I feel like I need to do it," said Griffis.

Both have reached an American Red Cross milestone, giving more than 100 platelet donations. "I've known several cancer patients in the past that survived cancer or lived a lot longer and more comfortably because of platelets," said Griffis.

One of those cancer patients is his wife, Sandy. She too was an avid blood and platelet donor, but because of her illness, she can no longer give. "It's extremely disappointing not to be able to do this, I'd like for 10 people to come in my place," said Sandy.

Giving platelets is similar to donating blood, but it takes a little longer. "You just sit here for about an hour and a half," said Griffis.

The blood is drawn from one arm and goes into a machine where the platelets are separated. The red blood cells and plasma are then returned into the other arm. "It takes approximately eight whole blood donations to collect the amount of platelets we get with one platelet donation," said Robbin Miller.

Right now, the platelet inventory is only about 60 units for the whole Southern Region. More people like Jimmy and Linda are needed to save lives. "Without folks like that and that type of dedication, there would be a lot of people suffering and not sustaining life," said Miller.

But because of their generosity, more people will be able to overcome their sickness, and live a long and healthy life.

posted by ashley.harper@walb.com

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