Advice from an avid donor… Eat more chili.

Meet Carol Whitten, an amazing donor of 100 pints (which is almost 13 gallons) of life-saving components.

Hometown: Lafayette, IN

Procedure of choice: Whole Blood

How long she’s been donating: 34 years

Goals: Stay healthy, connected, and, yes, eat more chili

What makes Carol special: “She doesn’t do it for the recognition of doing it. She does it for her husband and son and the many people she knows fighting cancer,” says, Kendra Henderson, Donor Center Specialist at the Lafayette donor center.

Though Carol’s sister had to talk her into donating for the first time, she has been a committed donor ever since. When asked why, Carol simply said that she’s had family members who have needed blood and she knows resources are limited. If she is able to donate, she does.

There have been a few times that Carol has tried to donate and was not able to due to low iron levels.

I was ready to give up because I was rejected three times in a row,” Carol said. “It’s almost like you’re not good enough. I just felt so bad.”

One of the technicians suggested that Carol eat chili a couple of times before she came next time to help build her iron.

“It works like a charm,” Carol said. “I tell everyone, just eat a little chili.”

Carol recently retired after working for 30 years with her husband and, to her surprise, Kendra came to the retirement party to present Carol with a plaque and some other Indiana Blood Center items to say, Thank You.

“I was honored to go to her retirement party,” Kendra said. “When I arrived I came into a room full of people that have known and loved Carol for a long time. She greeted everyone like a mother greets her child. Hugs and smiles and laughs.”  

Kendra also spoke of the adoration that Carol’s husband, Chuck, has for Carol.

“Chuck set up the surprise and wanted to make this day super special to let her know the impact she has had on the many lives she has touched,” Kendra said.

Though Carol has now retired, she is doing all she can to stay healthy and connected. She even texts her grandkids in order to help keep her youthful.

“I am 70 years old,” Carol said, “but I’m keeping really active and will continue to give blood as long as I can. It’s such an easy thing to do.”

Ready to get started? To follow Carol’s lead and become a dedicated blood donor, please make your appointment today on








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