Bob Farr donated his first pint of blood as a high school student to help out a friend who needed a transfusion.
Sixty years later, he’s still giving blood. Farr was one of the first in line at the Paul Harrison Memorial Blood Drive at The Depot on Jan. 17.
But then, he usually is. He donates every time the Red Cross comes to town, about every three months.
“I saw there was a need for the blood. I’m glad to help out when I can,” he said.
Two years ago, the Red Cross honored him for donating more than 125 pints of blood in his lifetime.
Though he retired from operating a dairy farm in 1989, he is active in the community in other ways. He served as chairman of McDuffie County Board of Commissioners for eight years and as a member of the same board for another eight years. He is the current president of the McDuffie County Farm Bureau.
He said he remembers when the cutoff age for donating blood was 65. Back then, medical personnel were afraid that blood diseases such as diabetes could be passed from one person to another through transfusions. Now they know that is not the case, although blood is always tested and some donors can be rejected if they are taking certain medications.
There is no longer an age limit. The only requirements to donate are that a donor be in good health, be at least 17 years old and weigh more than 110 pounds.
It’s not unusual to see older folks donating blood, said Gloria Cawley, a collection specialist with the Red Cross. But not many have been donating as long as Farr.
“He’s in the minority group,” she said.
Cawley lives in Augusta but travels with the Red Cross to work at blood drives around the Augusta-Aiken area.
Cawley met Farr 15 years ago through her work in Thomson.
“He is a super person,” she said. “He is at every blood drive.”