Michael Allen believes in helping those in his community. You could say it runs in his blood. Michael is a loyal platelet donor, coming in to one of our centers early on the weekends.  

“(My wife) thinks I’m crazy because not only am I not sleeping in on a weekend, the 7AM appointment requires me to get up earlier than I do during the week!  So, there’s sacrifice, but it’s all about the greater good.” 

Michael recently spoke with Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) about his commitment to saving lives. Telling us he learned from an early age the importance of donating blood, as his father is a loyal RIBC donor.  

“He always had the calendar marked “56 days” to show when he was eligible again.” 

Michael is open about not being a fan of needles but at 27 years old, Michael put aside his fear and followed in his dad’s footsteps to donate. He joined some of his fellow employees at a company blood drive.  

“I figured, if this counted as part of my workday, it was a win-win.” 

Michael was hooked! Even shifting to donating at the Warwick Center after his employer did not have a drive scheduled once he was eligible again. This is where he learned he has a special blood type thanks to one of our employees.

“…she told me that for my blood type, they’d prefer me to donate platelets rather than whole blood.  It was as simple as that.” 

Michael has now been donating platelets for 16 years! Donating platelets is a time commitment, about two hours, but Michael says he finds a way to balance it all to help in the mission to save lives.  

“Obviously, a lot of things have to go right in our family schedule to get to the Center that often, but it also helps to have support from my wife and son.” 

Michael tells RIBC that he enjoys the quiet part of donating at that time. He uses it to connect with staff, watch movies or just relax and listen to his iPod. 

Platelets are often referred to as liquid gold due to their yellow color. They are used to help cancer patients, women and newborns during complications with childbirth, victims of traumatic injuries or those who have blood disorders.  

You can donate platelets every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Michael has come close a few times; one year he donated 21 times! For Michael, it is all about helping the community.  

 “With about 4% of eligible Rhode Island donors giving; it’s a situation where I just want to make sure I do my part.”  

As of early April 2023, Michael has donated 527 times, which equals 65 gallons. That is over 1,500 lives saved!  

Donating platelets is something that Michael has incorporated into his routine. He tells us he is happy to be able to follow in his dad’s footsteps and save lives! He hopes by sharing his story, he can encourage others to donate.  

To book your appointment, visit us online or call 401-453-8383.