August 23, 2022 at 2:56 p.m.
Freeport blood drive surpasses goal
If there is a blood drive in Freeport, chances are life-long Freeport resident Joe Hennen will be making a donation.
He was at the Freeport Community Center Aug. 16, the final donor of the day.
“Congratulations to Joe for reaching his 10-gallon milestone,” said Janet Butkowski, blood drive coordinator.
Butkowski said 80 units of blood were collected during the drive, surpassing the goal by 11 units. That included 28 double-red donations.
“We had a great turnout,” she said. “And we have a great team of workers from the Red Cross, and our local volunteers did an outstanding job.”
Donating blood is something Hennen, 48, has done since he was in high school.
“My folks (Ed and Judy) gave, and so I just followed suit,” he said.
The first few times he donated the blood drive was held at the Sacred Heart School cafeteria in Freeport.
He said the current cycle of the Freeport blood drive works well for him donating at the community center, but he has also donated during St. Rosa and Melrose blood drives.
“Whenever they (blood drives) come around, it’s about time I’m due to donate,” said Hennen, who usually schedules his appointment after he’s done with work at Hennen Floor Covering, a family business he owns.
He laughs when saying it is usually him and Donnie Austing who donate the last pints of blood.
Butkowski said, according to the American Red Cross, there is still a short supply of blood, so she is especially thankful to donors like Hennen who return year after year, while she is also grateful for new donors.
Hennen’s type O blood is a universal donor, meaning it is compatible with any blood type.
He does a double-red cell donation, also known as Power Red, giving two units of red blood cells in one appointment. Blood is drawn from one arm through an automated process while a machine separates and collects two units of red cells and then safely returns the remaining blood components – plasma and platelets – along with saline, back to the donor through the same arm. A double red cell donation takes approximately 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation and donors can donate approximately every four months. With all of the platelets and plasma returned to the donor along with saline, donors don’t lose the liquid portion of their blood and may feel more hydrated after their donation.
Hennen admits it is a good feeling knowing he is doing his part to help someone else.
“There may be a time when I might need some blood,” said this vibrant man who is active in the community. “Plus, it’s something you can do for a long time and something you can start anytime.”
Male donorsmust be at least 17 years old in most states, and female donors must be at least 19 years old, according to the American Red Cross website.
The next blood drive in Freeport is Feb. 14, 2023. Chances are, Hennen will be there, working on his 11th gallon of blood.