As we continue with the Donor of the Month Series, we are happy to announce Indiana Blood Center’s donor of the month…
Aaron Louden of Seymour, Indiana
Louden is what we call a “regular” at the Indiana Blood Center – Columbus donor center. To date, Louden has donated over 75 times in the past three and a half years. His specialty is platelets because it allows him to keep training for the thing he loves, ultra marathon trail-running.
“In August of 2008, my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones. He was given a prognosis of approximately 2 years to live and informed that the chemotherapy he would be receiving would not eliminate his cancer, but simply slow the progression of the disease and reduce the amount of pain associated with the cancer.”
Louden thought of all the cancer patients like his dad, who require blood transfusions due to chemotherapy, and immediately wanted to do something to help.
“I gave my first Indiana Blood Center donation on September 30, 2008.”
Though he was happy to be able to donate, Louden was concerned about losing red blood cells and how that would affect his ability to train for and compete in events longer than 26 miles.
“However, an Indiana Blood Center phlebotomist told me that as an A+ blood type donor, I was perfectly suited to be a platelet donor and that donating platelets would allow me to keep almost all of the red cells that are so crucial to carrying oxygen while running.”
In 2010, while Louden’s father was going through his third and final round of chemotherapy, Louden was training for his longest and most challenging event yet, the 100 mile trail run.
Unfortunately, his father passed away on January 1, 2011, but Louden is proud to be able to say that exactly 100 days prior to his father’s death, he was able to call his dad and share the exhilaration of finishing a 100 mile trail run.
“My father had the energy to share in the joy of my achievement, in part, because of blood transfusions he received from anonymous donors.”
Louden’s father has inspired him to become a regular and dedicated platelet donor. Colleen Novak, an Indiana Blood Center phlebotomist shares, “Aaron is so dedicated and he is very proud to be able to help so many through donating.”
“After three and a half years and over 75 donations, I have made it my mission to spread the word among endurance athletes such as runners, cyclists and triathletes that you can donate vital blood components without jeopardizing your training goals through the aphaeresis process.”
We thank Louden for his many years of regular and continued platelet donations and not giving up when he thought donating blood wasn’t for him. We also thank him for sharing his story and continuing to spread the word about giving the greatest gift of all, life.
Follow Aaron’s lead and find a way to Raise Your Sleeve. Go to DonorPoint.org to make an appointment to save a life today.