HONOLULU (KHON2) — Just by donating blood once, donors show their compassion and kindness for the community.
But then there are the rare donors like Gerald Yamane, who has donated 585 times.
“The first time I donated blood was in high school,” Yamane said.
The President and CEO of the Blood Bank of Hawaii, Kim-Anh Nguyen, said what he is doing is heroic.
“Out of the 20,000 donors in our donor pool, our average donor frequency is under two times a year, not 24 times a year like Gerald,” Nguyen said.
Yamane isn’t just donating blood, he’s donating platelets. He also gives triple the normal amount every session, which means he’s in the chair for at least two hours.
“I’ve already watched a lot of Netflix movies,” he explained about what he does during the donation sessions.
“Platelets really go to the sickest of the sick, and to prevent bleeding to the head,” Nguyen said about why platelet donations are so important.
Despite donors like Yamane, the Blood Bank of Hawaii desperately needs more donations because during the holidays donations are down 20%.
“From now until the middle of January, we don’t have enough donors to meet our needs,” Nguyen explained, adding that one donation could help as many as five people.
“That’s a lot of lives we save, and just think of what a present that is that you would receive. The good feeling that you saved five people today,” she added.
So why does Yamane do it? One would think he has a personal connection to the blood bank.
“I just do it because I’m supposed to, and if I don’t, who will?” he said.
It’s because of people like Yamane, and the thousands of other donors that help save countless lives across the state.
“We’re Hawaii. We’re Ohana. We have to take care of each other. If we don’t take care of each other, nobody else will, so everybody should do their part,” Yamane said.
If you would like to donate, the Blood Bank of Hawaii is holding a blood drive at Dave & Buster’s on Dec. 26 from 9am-3pm. Donating will get you a day of unlimited play and refreshments. To sign up, click here.