Creating Awareness

Friday, Feb 08 2013 04:13 PM

Some Kind of Wonderful: Grady Buck, 19 gallons of blood donated & counting

By Hillary Haenes

Giving the gift of life by donating his blood is one selfless act that Grady Buck has been doing for almost 30 years.

Buck, executive vice president and chief credit officer of Valley Republic Bank, started donating back in 1982, when his boss’ wife was sick and needed blood transfusions.

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Grady Buck

“Another co-worker and I gave blood and then decided to team up and give blood on a continual basis. I have been doing it ever since, even though my buddy left town years ago,” Buck said.

This universal type O-negative blood donor is currently part of the 19-Gallon Club at Houchin Community Blood Bank. Buck said he would be well over 20 gallons by now, had he not moved out of town for a few years.

“Donating blood to save lives makes me feel absolutely wonderful. I am not a giving person and pretty self-centered, but giving blood makes me feel like I have given something back to mankind and have some purpose other than doing something for just me,” Buck said.

He also admits to having a low pain threshold, but said the nurses at Houchin are so good at what they do, that you hardly feel anything. This is part of the reason why people are hesitant to donate in the first place, because they are either afraid of needles or think giving blood is going to hurt.

“I think it’s extremely important for more people in this community to become consistent blood donors, meaning they can donate every eight weeks. That’s why someone like Grady Buck is so valuable to the blood bank,” said Greg Gallion, president and CEO of Houchin Community Blood Bank.

According to Gallion, the blood bank generates about 37,000 units of red blood cells per year and approximately 7,000 units of platelets. There are medical emergencies every day where someone’s life is in need of blood, whether that’s at a local hospital, private cancer and blood disease treatment facility, dialysis center or home health agency. In fact, one out of 10 people who enter a hospital need a blood transfusion.

Buck encourages others to take one hour out of their busy schedules every couple of months to help save lives. For more information on donating or about Houchin Community Blood Bank, visit

When preparing for donation, please keep in mind:

  • Must be 17 years of age, or 16 years old with parent permission slip.
  • Bring a photo ID with date of birth. Even repeat donors must present some form of photo ID.
  • Must weigh 110 pounds, and be taking in 1,200 calories a day.
  • To feel your best, please drink plenty of water prior to donating and following your donation. Avoid caffeine — it is dehydrating!
  • You should be free from all cold, flu or symptoms of infection, and be off of antibiotics for three days.
  • Must wait 12 months after a tattoo or body piercing.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal within two to fours hours before donation.
  • Non U.S. citizens can donate with photo ID showing date of birth.

Houchin Community Blood Bank locations:

Main building: 5901 Truxtun Ave.
New building will be open soon! 11515 Bolthouse Drive at Buena Vista Road


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