ONALASKA, Wis. - It's the annual blood drive at First Lutheran Church in Onalaska with one donor in particular at the center of attention.
John Every is no stranger to giving blood. In fact today marks a pretty big milestone. "Today's a pretty big day for you. Congratulations."
"We've been planning for a while. We knew it was coming."
Lots of people give blood once or twice. A few get into the double digits. But rare is the person that can say they've given blood 100 times. "It's a good number. 100 times."
John Every started giving blood when he was in high school. But he felt so good about himself after doing it - he just kept coming back. "I can give every 56 days. So I can say roughly every 2-3 months I give blood."
"By giving 100 donations he's helped 300 people. So that's incredible. He's somebody I've gotten to know over the years and he's got the biggest heart. He's a joyful giver. We're always excited to see him come whether it's the 75th or 105th. He's a pleasure to have at the blood drive."
"There's no pain and there's definitely gain."
"John is an inspiration to others and other people can be that inspiration too. I've walked other people through it. It's gonna sting for a few seconds and then you're doing a great thing."
"It's something I just feel good about. It's like going to church. Like helping a neighbor. It's just a good feeling. You know you've done something good. And somewhere down the road someone is going to be better because of something you did."
But don't be mistake, this celebration is not the final hurrah for John. "I know at church I see people giving blood in their 70's and 80's. So I've got a few decades to go, don't I? I will give blood as long as I can."
Congratulations to John! Interesting side not, while we were at the blood drive gathering video, John ran into someone who said he was donating for the 175th time! We know there are a lot of stories out there just like John's. So we want to say a special thank you to those of you that not only give blood, but do it again and again and again. And keep it up!