In 1978, Michael Ardis donated blood for the first time with Houchin Community Blood Bank. His wife’s grandfather was going in for surgery and donating blood was the best way he could help. After his first donation Micheal learned he was O negative, the universal blood donor. From then on, his visits to Houchin became more frequent and Michael will be celebrating 17 gallons on his next donation.
Every time Michael comes in to donate, he credits the Vietnam Vets of America. Although Michael did not serve in Vietnam, he wants to honor those who lost their lives with every donation. Several of his friends in high school were drafted and his future step-brother lost his life serving our country. Michael witnessed first hand the losses of those around around him, and found that blood donation was the best way to serve his community. As a retired nurse, he understands the importance of having a safe and adequate blood supply. Michael’s time at Kern Medical Center, showed him how big of an impact a simple blood donation could make on a patient’s life.
Michael enjoys motorcycles, traveling, and most importantly spending time with his six grandchildren. Learning from his example, Michael’s daughter is also an avid donor, who started donating at her high school. Michael has been a proud supporter of Houchin Community Blood Bank from the start, and can be found wearing his Houchin t-shirt on his many travels. Michael wants new donors to understand: “You can help extend someone’s life by donating blood. It doesn’t cost you anything. Even if you aren’t a first responder, you can make a difference in your own way.”