Holiday Angels: Don Franklin

The Examiner celebrates people who made a differencein 2006

Contribution: Has donated blood for almost 40 years.

Residence: San Anselmo

What he does: Twice a month, Franklin donates blood and platelets to San Francisco-area blood banks. Platelets — which can help cancer patients — take 90 minutes to donate each time.

Why he does it: He started in college in the ’60s, because $5 for a pint of blood meant he could fill up his car on 25 cent gasoline and have some money left over. From there it grew to a regular event for Franklin, who now gives 20 to 24 times a year. “It makes me feel good to know that I’ve been able to make a difference in someone’s life,” Franklin said. Franklin says the knowledge that someone will be using a product of his body has encouraged him to give up unhealthy foods and snacks.

The impact: It’s very impressive for someone to keep up that kind of commitment for this long, to come month after month, to sit there with a needle in his arm for people he’ll never meet,” said Lisa Bloch, director of communications for Blood Centers of the Pacific. “He’s truly giving of himself. It sounds cliché, but he’s really giving the gift of life.”

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