FAIRBORN — Jim Lewis is a Fairborn “Donor for Life.”
With a lanky build and a salt-and-pepper beard sprouting from beneath his face mask, his appearance gives a hint as to why “grizley” is part of his email address. He also has a simple explanation for his dedication to the Community Blood Center that spans more than four decades of donating, including his Aug. 18 milestone 200th lifetime donation.
“I’ve got big veins,” he said. “It’s easy!”
Lewis said he began donating in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
“There was a mobile blood drive where I worked,” he said.
His workplace at the time was GMAC, the former finance and insurance arm of General Motors, where he worked for 11 years. He continued donating through his career and retired from Hobart in 2014.
Lewis and his wife Debra have been married for 43 years. They have two children and three grandchildren.
He began donating platelets in 2012 and quickly moved a full schedule of 24 platelet or plasma donations per year. His 200th donation milestone came on his 14th donation of 2020, a schedule that he managed to keep despite the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We go to Tucson, Arizona in the winter and stay out there for a couple of months and come back in March,” Lewis said.
Ohio was under a stay-at-home order soon after they returned, but blood donation was considered an essential activity for the public health.
“I kept my donations on schedule here,” he added.
The CBC will be conducting a community blood drive at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The church is located at 3080 Bell Drive in Fairborn.
Additionally, the City of Fairborn will hold another community blood drive Thursday, Sept. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The Community Blood Center Bloodmobile will be at the Government Center, 44 West Hebble Ave.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact blood collections, according to a release. CBC is seeking COVID-19 survivors to become “Crisis Warriors” by donating their antibody-rich plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Donors must make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or by calling 937-461-3220.