This US Man Has Donated Over 110 Litres Blood, Calls It “Multitasking”

This US Man Has Donated Over 110 Litres Blood, Calls It 'Multitasking'

The eye care professional made his first donation when he was in college.

A man from Long Island in the United States has donated around 29 gallons of blood (approximately 110 litres) in 49 years. Henry Bickoff, aged 68, started the noble deed in 1975. His blood has helped 693 people, according to the New York Blood Center.

He has donated the equivalent of 870 single-serve ice cream scoops, 310 Coke cans or almost six-gallon office water cooler bottles. “I’ve been doing it for a while,” he told the New York Post. “It’s something I’ve committed to, and it’s actually nice to get a little bit of recognition for it,” he added.

The eye care professional made his first donation when he was in college. “Everybody was doing it. It was a save-the-world kind of situation of do something good for everybody,” Mr Bickoff said. However, he recalled his first experience and said that he was “very dizzy” after the donation since he was not hydrated, fed or rested. However, it did not stop him from continuing to do it.

The optometrist continued, “This may sound silly but I consider it my main act of charity. It’s something I can do and it doesn’t take a lot of time. I consider it multitasking – making blood cells while I’m doing everything else in my life. And it’s just that hour every two months to go down to the blood center and donate.” Mr Bickoff has a B-negative blood type and is in high demand. Until the previous five or ten years, he donated every 56 days. However, with age he tries to “stretch it out a little bit.”

New York Blood Center’s Senior Vice President Andrea Cefarelli said, “Less than 1/2 a percent of the donor base have donated 20 gallons or more. The average person donates a couple of times in their lifetime.”

“It’s one of the blood types that is often in short supply because it’s only 2% of the population. A B neg can only receive B neg or O neg. O neg is the universal blood type – it can be safely transfused to anyone – but it’s only present in 6% of the population,” she added.

Mr Bickoff’s wife donates blood sometimes. However, his daughter is unable to do so because of a rare blood disease and his son is not interested. “It really is something that makes me so proud of him,” his 36-year-old daughter said.

Notably, Mr Bickoff would hold the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the most whole-blood donations by a man, if he applied for it. According to a GWR representative, the title requires 231 units to qualify, which he completed in May. He stated that he would most likely apply for the designation.

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