15-Year Blood Donor To SBUMC Is First To Mark 300 Platelet Donations
Rey Nimons of Hampton Bays Inspired by Helping Give the Gift of Life
STONY BROOK, N.Y., August 31, 2010 – When the staff of the Stony Brook University Medical Center Blood Bank see Rey Nimons, 63, of Hampton Bays, there are smiles all around and fun conversation begins. This happens not only because Mr. Nimons is a positive character with a perpetual smile, but also because they know him for 15 years and recognize his special gift to SBUMC. Nimons donates blood platelets about every two weeks, every year. On August 30, he gave his 301st donation. Nimons is the first SBUMC Blood Bank donor to reach 300 platelet donations in the bank’s 30 years of operation.
“It is an honor to be involved with all donors, especially regular donors who are so generous with their time and provide a tremendous service not only for our Blood Bank but for the entire community,” says Dennis Galanakis, M.D., Medical Director of the SBUMC Blood Bank “We cannot live without platelets. Rey’s gift is extraordinary, and he has helped to save and preserve many patients’ lives.”
“I want to do this as long as I can because I know it helps people and the need is always there,” says Nimons. “I think about my own family, including my children and grandchildren, and how I would feel if they were in dire need of platelets because of some illness or accident. That motivates me even more.”
Nimons first became aware of blood platelet donation 15 years ago when someone he knew had a daughter suffering from leukemia and needed platelets. She was being treated at SBUMC, and Nimons was moved to donate and target the platelets directly to her. He was hooked on donating to the SBUMC Blood Bank every since that time.
Over the years, Nimons has done some targeted donations, but most donations are for the Blood Bank at large and for whatever platelet patient needs arise. Not until recently did Nimons actually meet someone who received his platelets. In this case it was the sister-in-law from someone he works with at Nature’s Bounty Vitamin Shop on Long Island.
According to Dr. Galanakis, just one donation of platelets can help to treat one adult or several infants who are bleeding badly from trauma or do not produce enough platelets because of cancer or other diseases. The platelet donation process takes about one hour or a little less.
The SBUMC Blood Bank processes approximately 3,000 to 3,500 platelet donations per year. As with all blood banks, the SBUMC Blood Bank needs to build the supply and preserve a certain amount for emergency use. For more information about the SBUMC Blood Bank and to donate, call 631-444-3662.