Blood Assurance celebrates Mr. JD McCleskey’s 500th donation today at the Rome Donor Center where Mr. McCleskey became the very first blood donor in 2001 when the center first opened.  Mr. McCleskey is a Floyd County resident and also holds the honorable title of Rome’s first aphaeresis donor in 2004 when the center was licensed and equipped to do apheresis.

“What first motivated me to give was the understanding of just what it does for people.” Mr. McCleskey said at today’s 500th donation celebration. Faithfully since 2004 Mr. McClesky has given platelets every 2 weeks for a maximum of 24 times a year. Platelets are blood components that are given to patients undergoing chemotherapy, trauma surgery, transplant operations and more. Over 1 million platelet transfusions each year are given to patients. During a platelet donation, like Mr. McCleskey’s, special medical equipment extracts only platelets and returns the other blood components to the body. This process usually takes about an hour and half. “JD’s commitment to take this time out of his day regularly and faithfully like he does is truly an act of local heroism. Many, many lives have been saved in Rome and Floyd County thanks to JD’s selfless act.” said Jennifer Hunter, Blood Assurance Donor Care Specialist who has been caring for Mr. McCleskey for over 17 years of blood donations in Rome.

Mr. McCleskey works in the electrical field at Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen and relates his donations to his line of work. “Just like our community needs power, many patients in our community need the blood and blood products we can give.” Mr. McCleskey credits Plant Bowen for allowing him the opportunity to donate. “I work for a great company that allows me this opportunity to serve my community in a way that fits with my work schedule” In an effort to create awareness about platelet donation Mr. McCleskey has organized a Blood Assurance presentation at Plant Bowen in August. “Folks just don’t know the impact it can have,” said Mr. McCleskey.

To learn more about how to become a platelet donor, like JD McCleskey, or to learn how your organization or work place can become a community partner, like Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen, please call the Rome Donor Center at 706-235-9853.

About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving 51 counties and more than 76 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia, including our local hospitals of Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center. The mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need. Visit bloodassurance.org for more information.