By Christine Welch, American Red Cross
For the last 30-plus years, Matthew Murphy II has made a point to share his good health and donate platelets every two weeks at the American Red Cross Laguna Hills Blood Donation Center. Recently, the staff joined together to celebrate Matt’s 1,600th-platelet unit donation milestone, a milestone few others have achieved. Thanks to Matt’s unwavering commitment to donating over the last 30 years, the team ceremonially crowned him for his record as the top Red Cross platelet donor in Southern California and recognized his generous efforts to help thousands of hospital patients.
Matthew’s blood donation journey began in his 20s. “In college I started donating blood and felt the need to support the community. Years later, during the 1991 KLOS Blood Drive, I found out about platelets and realized how many more people I could help out throughout the year including cancer patients, new-born babies, and others that needed the product. I have been donating ever since.”
Donating platelets is a simple way to make a profound difference in the lives of patients that depend on the tiny cells that work to form clots and prevent life-threatening bleeding and help those living with blood disorders. About 2 million units of platelets are transfused each year in the U.S., and more than half of all donated platelets go to cancer patients.
Platelet donors like Matthew have the potential to donate 3 units at each visit – and over the years Matthew’s units have helped make a difference in the lives of thousands of patients.
“It took me over 30 years to get to 1,600 platelets units and I’m not stopping,” Matthew shares. “My next goal is 2,000 units which should take about 6 years. I will see you then!”
To learn more about platelet donation, visit RedCrossBlood.org/platelets.