For Bob and Doris Partlow, blood donation is a lifelong commitment that has impacted their lives beyond measure. From giving blood to save another’s life to receiving a blood transfusion in a life-or-death situation, the American Red Cross is woven into the story of their lives.
Doris’s donation story began in her twenties when her mother needed a blood transfusion. Despite never donating blood before, Doris and her father began donating blood immediately, making a tradition of it along the way. “My Dad and I would always go together. We would race to see who could donate faster; he always won,” recalled Doris.
While her mother’s illness initially spurred Doris to become a blood donor, her husband’s blood recipient story urged them both to continue serving the Red Cross. The Parlows remain dedicated blood drive volunteers despite no longer being able to donate themselves.
“About ten years, or so ago, Bob developed a bleeding ulcer and almost bled out. He ended up getting seven units of blood in the hospital. Blood donors saved his life, and that’s why we keep working at the blood drives even though neither one of us can donate anymore”, said Doris. This harrowing event reminds them of the importance of blood drives and the donors that save lives like Bob’s.
When the Partlows moved to Moncks Corner, South Carolina, in 2005, the First Presbyterian Church of Moncks Corner invited them to join their blood drive committee. The Partlows were overjoyed to help. Later, Doris was asked if she would step into a leadership role on the committee if the founder of the blood drive were ever to retire.
A few years ago, the founder of one of the largest blood drive accounts in South Carolina did indeed retire, passing the reigns to Doris. As the committee leader, she works tirelessly, bringing in approximately 250 pints of blood donations each year. An astounding number that helps provide some of the 36,000 units of red blood cells that are needed in the U.S. each day.
Doris’s dedication to continuing the First Presbyterian Church of Moncks Corner’s blood drive is inspiring. Her passion for supporting blood donation was evident in her voice as she spoke on the lifesaving power of blood and why her work with the committee is so vital. “Some people just never think about donating. We still do, because of that [Bob’s ulcer], we know how important it is,” said Doris.
Bob and Doris Partlow’s story of blood donation, volunteerism, and the lifesaving power of blood in their lives, is a powerful testament to the necessity of blood donation and the volunteers that make it possible. Though only thirty-eight percent of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood, someone needs blood or blood platelets every two seconds; someone like Bob, someone like Doris’s mother.
Consider joining the Paltrow’s in becoming a blood donor today. Become one of the 6.8 million people who enable the American Red Cross to provide forty percent of the U.S. blood supply. To find a blood drive in your area, visit redcrossblood.org, and remember to read all COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions carefully.
Thank you to our current and future donors for helping the Red Cross continue to serve our communities during this time of need. We are grateful for your continued support and generosity. A special thanks to the Partlow’ for sharing their story with us and for their ongoing service to the Red Cross of South Carolina.