Man Celebrates 100th Donation
A celebratory feeling lingered following the grand opening ceremony for The Woodlands Neighborhood Donor Center on May 4, 2005, as a longtime donor made his first visit to the new center to give his 100th donation. Everett Slavens, 73, has lived in The Woodlands for about eight years but has been giving blood for more than three decades. He remembers his first donation like it was yesterday, and the one he made on grand opening day won't be soon forgotten either. The timing was perfect, since the former Ouachita Baptist University professor is gearing up for a yearlong trip to Zambia.
Slavens was completing his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri when, at age 37, it first occurred to him that he could make a life-saving difference by giving blood. A research assistant had been reading newspapers to Slavens, who is blind, when she told him she would be taking an hour off that afternoon to give blood. Inspired by her action, he made a spur of the moment decision to join her.
Thirty-six years later, he has helped save as many as 300 lives with his donations. Slavens said in all his years of giving blood, he has only been deferred once for having a low iron count, but that didn't stop him from fulfilling his commitment. He filled up on iron-rich foods and, the next day, sought out a blood drive in The Woodlands, where he was able to donate.
Slavens is a Commit for Life member and gives blood as often as he can. He encourages others to donate blood, saying that it's an opportunity to do something simple, yet very beneficial for individuals in need. "And they give you cookies at the end," he jokes. "When else do you get to relax for an hour and eat cookies, all while doing something great for others?"