WM man honored for 300th-lifetime blood donation


DAYTON — Soltiva recently honored blood donor West Milton resident Dean Riedel, who made his milestone 300th-lifetime donation on Dec. 22., along with several others from neighboring counties.

Riedel was treated to a celebratory breakfast taco from Tiara Miller, one of his favorite apheresis phlebotomists.

“I wanted to do it the day before Christmas,” Riedel said, in a press release from Soltiva. “She talked me into it, and she got me Taco Bell. I used to work in Dayton, and I came here when I got off in the morning after the early shift. When I was truck driving, I would come in on Saturdays.”

It was a celebration of Riedel’s “Donor for Life” journey because he decided when he reached 300, it would be time to retire from donating. Riedel donated whole blood until 2009, then became a platelet donor. He finished 2023 with 20 platelets and plasma donations.

“They kept inviting me back!” Riedel said.

Riedel is CMV-negative, which means he is negative for the common cytomegalovirus.

“One thing they kept me going is that I have ‘kids’ blood,’” Riedel said

Since most adults are already CMV-positive, they can receive blood from other positive CMV donors. However, CMV-negative blood products are required for newborns and patients with weakened immune systems.

“Three hundred was my goal, and we got there, and I’m retiring,” Riedel said about the end of an era. “I retired (from work) last year, and now I’m taking care of my son’s cattle.”

January is a time to be aware of the critical need for an essential blood supply and to honor those whose unselfish dedication to giving blood helps save the lives of the ill and the injured, said the Soltiva press release.

January Blood Donor Awareness Month was proclaimed nationally in 1969 and by the Ohio General Assembly in 2018. The joint purpose is to honor donors and encourage more blood donations during the winter months when the holiday season, severe weather, and seasonal illness make it difficult to maintain a sufficient blood supply.

To schedule an appointment to donate with Solvita (formerly Community Blood Center), go to the Donor Time app, call 937-461-3220 or visit www.donortime.com.

Solvita honors all donors, especially those who made 2023 a year to remember with milestone donations during the holiday season.

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