Woodside man to make 500th blood donation

Richard Tagg is conscientious about giving blood regularly to help others. In fact, he gives as often as he can.

Tagg, 79, of Woodside, will set a record when he makes his 500th blood donation Friday at the Stanford Blood Center in Palo Alto.

He has been donating blood for more than 35 years and has tried to make the maximum allowed 24 donations a year over the last several years.

"We hope that bringing attention to Dick's amazing dedication to saving lives will encourage others to donate as well," said Michele Hyndman, blood center spokeswoman.

The effort is especially appreciated, Hyndman said, because of continuing shortages. The center had less than a one-day supply of type-O blood in mid-August.

Tagg became a donor long ago after reading an ad in a local newspaper asking for blood donors for children with leukemia. "Our kids were about the same age and we were able to meet the kids and their parents," he said. "It was very personal."

-- Don Kazak


Like this comment
Posted by Mayfield Child
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 24, 2007 at 12:19 am

I, myself, was a receipent of someone's generosity .. I call it the "Gift of Rejuvination"..... I received blood donations at Stanford which rejuvenated my body. I cried tears when I looked up and saw the blood being transported from the bottle into my tube and pathway, ending up into my arm. I stared and wondered who..who..who was the person responsible for giving me the blood I needed...

HOW WONDERFUL that science is able to conjure up such a feat...
HOW WONDERFUL of the person, who is nameless to me, cared so much as to donate this gift.
THANK YOU, all of those who have donated, wish I could hug each and every one of you.
There really aren't words to discribe the feeling of being the receipent of a gift of blood.
Please, those of you that can, please donate. It means so much to those who are in need, something only you, personally, can do for others. Don't just think about it.....................

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 24, 2007 at 4:55 am

If the donor had given 500 old cars he would have been allowed tax credits. He gave 500 pints, for which the final recipiant paid several hundred dollars each, and received only gratitude.

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 24, 2007 at 6:55 pm

"...and received only gratitude."

Is that your problem, Walter? You have not received enough gratitude?

My daughter is alive, because many people gave blood, and did so voluntarily. I love those people, even though I don't know them. May I suggest that they know what good they have done, and they don't expect a tax break?

For all of you who donate blood, I LOVE YOU!!!

Like this comment
Posted by English
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2007 at 6:57 pm

I agree with donating blood. Have done it in the past, but no one wants my "mad cow' tainted blood. It does me fine.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 24, 2007 at 8:29 pm

Ed, don't get stuck on stupid. I believe we would have much more blood and organ donations if the donors got more than a wave. No one else after the donor and volunteer works for free, and the retail price of blood reflects all those costs.

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 24, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Walter, When you were in Korea and there was a wounded soldier next to you, did you say, "How much, if I risk my blood to save you?" I doubt it.

Not everything is $$, Walter, and you know it. It is NOT a zero sum game.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 25, 2007 at 6:49 am

I am confused, Ed. Are you saying that it is an insult to express thanks in an affirmative manner? By that silly logic even "thanks" is an insult.

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Posted by Ed
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 25, 2007 at 7:32 am

No, Walter, nothing wrong with saying "thanks". Every time I give blood the staff says "thanks". I know that recipients are appreciative. I sure was, when my daughter needed it.

The volunteer blood giving system has worked well over the years. It gives me a good feeling to give, and I would not give more, if I was paid for it (and I would probably not feel quite as good about it). This altruism may not meet the approval of Alisa Rosenbaum, but I am fine with it.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 25, 2007 at 4:08 pm

So, Ed, you would object to anything that might increase the blood supply? Something that might overcome the summer slump? Something that might make more of the blood products available? You might even give less if there were a tax benefit? Odd.

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 27, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Walter, I think we get more blood by appealing to common interest volunteers. I also think we get more Little League coaches, Boy Scout leaders, beach clean-up crews, etc., by asking for volunteers.

If Little League coaches were paid, it would change the entire experience. Can you imagine what the parents would THEN expect?

If we pay for blood, it would subtract from the giving experience. It would select for those who want to make money, including those who lie about their past history...think SAFETY, Walter.

I really admire Richard Tagg. 500 blood donations! Incredible!!!

Walter, how many donations have you made?

Like this comment
Posted by David Cohen
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2007 at 11:01 pm

I've tried to donate blood and platelets fairly regularly throughout my adult life. My grandmother died on the operating table due to bleeding problems, and I had donated one unit of the blood that was used in the operation, to no avail. The importance of donating further hit home when I was in Stanford/LPCH when my sons were born. I was walking around the hospital during these joyful days of my life, coming and going from labor and delivery and maternity wards, but always keenly aware of my surroundings, and the people in need all around. What better way to show appreciation for one's health and well-being?

Those who haven't donated yet, or often, should know that it gets easier each time, but the good feeling of helping others never fades. And as someone noted above, there are restrictions on donations from people who lived in the UK, along with restrictions that result from exotic world travel, exposure to illnesses, etc. So there's always a need for more donors to step up, and a risk that past donors will be restricted under new guidelines. Those of us who can really should. Most of us are potential recipients, no? And after all, how many opportunities do you get to literally save a life?

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2007 at 5:40 am

Because of malaria and hepetitis I am not an elligable donor. This is one reason for my desire to help the process. I undertand the reason for rejecting direct payment for blood because of the tendency of those needing drug or booze money to lie. I question whether a tax credit, not immediately convertable to a hit, would have the same effect. I find your attack on me for a good faith suggestion to be substandard.

Like this comment
Posted by Joan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2007 at 7:47 am

Walter, If you want to avoid "substandard" attacks, maybe you can avoid making your hallmark (and sadly predictable) bellicose statements. I consider telling a fellow poster "Don't get stuck on stupid" to be much more an attack than anything Ed has said.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2007 at 9:08 am

Joan, your fsilure to examine the post I responded to does you no credit. My good faith suggestion to increase donations was attacked by Ed. Rather than allow a snip squash a good suggesting I defended my suggestion. It is my weakness that I will respond to criticism in the vein it is issued.

Like this comment
Posted by joan
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2008 at 8:53 am

I thought you can only give every 56 days? How can you donate 24 times in a year? Just donating once is wonderful...but 24 a year?

Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 26, 2008 at 9:44 am


The every 56 days is based upon red blood cell loss. When a person gives platelets a portion of their blood is extracted, in a closed process, centrifuged to separate it into its component parts, and then recombined minus the platelets and returned to the donor. Therefore their RBC (red blood cell) loss is minimal allowing them to give more frequently.

A platelet donor can give platelets 24 time and still have a low enough total RBC loss to allow for a two red blood cell donations totaling 26 donations in a year.

As to donating once is wonderful... When an individual donates platelets their time spent donating is considerably longer than when donating whole blood. Thanks to technological improvements this process is much faster than it used to be and usually only requires a single arm being tied up with the donating process. In the not too distant past both arms were used and it typically took about an hour and forty-five minutes hooked up to the donating separation equipment.

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