When his wife Michele needed blood, the fact that it was always there amazed Michael Crepeau. Every time her platelets were low, every time she was in need, they seemed to magically be there,” says Michael. “And it came from people who didn’t even know her, or us or our plight.
No magic or luck was involved. Every transfusion Michele needed during her battle with bladder cancer came from the good will of donors, who take the time to make sure platelets (sometimes known as “liquid gold” for their color and because of their tremendous value to help patients in need) are always there.
Michael, whose voice often breaks with emotion when he talks about how grateful he is for the additional two years he had with his wife before she passed away, is now a dedicated platelet donor. He reached a rare 100-gallon milestone, making his 800th donation in July and feels, It’s a privilege to be able to do this. Apheresis platelet donors can give up to 24 times in one year, and up to 3 doses of platelets are possible with each donation.
He likens the difficulty of families with loved ones who need blood to that of a tragedy not everyone knows about. We all hear about the major tragedies—the 9/11’s—but we don’t always hear about the people who have been diagnosed with cancer or a family whose child needs blood regularly to live. These are people’s personal 9/11’s that we as donors can respond to by giving regularly.
When Michael started coming out of what he describes as the “cocoon of grief” he was in for a year after he lost Michele, he started giving platelets as a way to say thank you for having been given more time with her. “If you think of all the best characteristics in all the people you know…that was Michele. Every platelet donation she received extended our life together, and every day extended our love together.” Every time you give blood, that’s what you do for someone.