Richard Casseri is Roswell Park’s longest active platelet donor and we think he is simply amazing!!!!!
In 1969 Richard Casseri was a member of the New York State Jaycees in Eden, when he was given the responsibility of recruiting blood donors for Roswell Park. In an effort to help boost the project, Richard made a commitment to donate his own blood which was followed by decades of platelet donations.
At the age of 77, forty-nine years later he still donates platelets on a regular basis and carries the distinction of being Roswell Park’s longest active platelet donor.
He has seen quite a bit over four-and-a-half decades, including a number of nurses and phlebotomists, and the creation of a new Donor Center.
Richard has also had friends and family go to Roswell Park for treatment. “I’ve donated for people close to me who came to Roswell Park,” he says. “So, I’d give platelets and then visit with him or her. At that point, you just wonder what problems you really have.”
Richard’s service was interrupted only once, for about a full year, following a trip out of the country. (Donors are not eligible to give blood after visiting certain foreign countries.) Otherwise, he has been a loyal donor, reaching his 500th donation in 2006. Now close to 900 donations, Richard doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. “I was blessed with good health,” he says. “I just figured I would share it.”
Richard helps the Donor Center by encouraging others to donate and has been featured several times on local radio programs. When asked what makes it all worth it, Richard recalls a recent time he was leaving the Donor Center after completing his donation and held the door for a little girl in a wheelchair. She and her caretaker where headed to Roswell’s phlebotomy center. When the caretaker realized what Richard had just done, she thanked him for donating. Richard tells this story with great pride and a lump in his throat as he knows every time he donates it’s making a difference for someone he might just pass in the hallways of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
If you’d like to help patients at Roswell Park like Richard, please call The Donor Center at 716 845-8275, or go to roswellpark.org/donorcenter
In the month of December, you could win a stocking filled with gift cards!!!!!
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