Like most military men, Randy Greenlee donated his first pint of blood while serving in the 82nd Airborne Infantry. He never realized the kind of impact his blood donation had on patients in need until his father got sick. In 1985, Randy’s father was rushed to the hospital, because his kidneys were failing. For the next few months, Randy would go from Bakersfield to Santa Barbara everyday to watch his father go through over 300 units of red cells. Looking for a way to help, Randy turned to platelet donations. Randy gave his first platelet in a small room in Santa Barbra with both arms hooked up to a machine for a three hour procedure. This was just the beginning.
That same year, Randy was invited to work for Houchin Community Blood Bank as a part-time employee in the manufacturing and distribution department. He quickly became a full time employee and a dedicated donor.
Thirty years later, Randy continues to work for Houchin as the Facilities Manager with over 600 platelets and 6 gallons of blood donations under his belt. As one of the few employees who can recall the days before the Truxtun and Bolthouse Donor Center, Randy has adopted the Houchin mission statement and continues to live by it till this day. When asked what he looks forward to as a donor, Randy shares that he is looking forward to reaching higher milestones and being a part of one of the only independent blood banks in the nation that continues to stand on its own.
To encourage donors to give Trima, our automated donation system, a try, Randy says: It shouldn’t take a close family member in need to fuel your donation. People are in need of blood products all the time. Sitting in a comfortable chair for up to two hours is a cakewalk in comparison to what our local patients go through. Donating allows regular people who aren’t firefighters, police officers, or soldiers to be the hero and save someone’s life.”
In his free time, Randy enjoys spending time with his grandson and traveling. If you ever see Randy at a mobile drive or donor center, be sure to say hello. He would love to thank you for your donation.