John and Carol Walter and John Husek embody what it means to be a hero. Without their sacrifice and donations, we would not be able to continue to supply 40% of the nation’s blood supply. These three show us the power in the simple act of giving.
John and Carol Walter
John and Carol met in California in a church choir when he was 16 and she was 14. They married in 1968. John’s first blood donation was while he was in the Army in 1966 and he has given an average of four times per year ever since for a total of 225 units of blood. He also gave five apheresis blood donations that he knows have saved lives. Carol’s first donation was in 1985 and she has been giving four times per year like her husband John for a total of 150 units of blood. That is an incredible feat only accomplished by a few. They are both type O universal donors and enjoy being able to share their blood for the benefit of others.
John Husek and his college fraternity brothers organized blood drives as service projects. That is when John began to give regularly at blood drives. Later he found that there was a Red Cross blood donation center near where he lived so he started giving every two months. His first blood donation was in 2011 in Long Beach. He donated blood five times before he started donating platelets in 2013. John now donates as often as he can and usually donates the maximum amount of 24 platelet donation in a 12 month period. He has donated 346 units of platelets, plasma and blood. John says that it is a terrific way to help others.
Each year this annual event honors community members who have demonstrated heroism through extraordinary acts of courage and humanitarian service and embody the spirit and mission of the Red Cross. Heroes for this year’s awards ceremony can be nominated via the Red Cross website and are due by Feb. 1, 2023. Visit redcross.org/la-heroes to learn more.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.