For Miami Valley Today
DAYTON — Troy donor Steve Jackson has retired from two careers and is still working. As a former paramedic, he’s no stranger to needles. After 150 lifetime donations, the milestone he reached Feb. 19 at the Dayton CBC, he said, “I’ve stuck a lot of people and I always say it’s better to stick than being stuck!” But in a time of need in this frigid February, he’s always ready for one more.
“I probably started in the early ’70s,” Steve said. “They asked about it at work, and I’d do it at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He served four years of active duty in the U.S. Air force where he “blew things up” as a munitions specialist stationed in Germany during the Vietnam era.
His first career was the 33 years spent as a civilian at WPAFB testing jet engines then flight simulators. He decided the end of millennium, December 1999, was a good time to retire, but continued to work as a paramedic at Upper Valley Medical Center. He retired again in 2017, but now works at the Troy-Hayner Culture Center.
“My wife likes me to keep busy!” he said. “We’ll be married 50 years in May.”
Steve’s wife Deb is a whole blood donor with 105 donations, and they often donate together. He says they’ll share his “Donor for Life — 150 LTD” fleece blanket. “We’ll take it with us in our camper.”
“I have an incentive to come down here,” he confessed. “We go over to the Spaghetti Warehouse. It’s bad for my waistline!”
Steve started donating platelets and plasma in 2014 but also makes whole blood donations. He averages six donations per year and reached his milestone with a platelet donation. In 2020 he made three whole blood donations and two platelet and plasma donations.
“I enjoy doing it,” he said, “and I feel it’s doing some good.”