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VA Long Beach Healthcare System

 

Veteran Donates Record Amounts of Blood

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George Amthor

George Amthor, World War II Veteran: (Left) Amthor, present. (Right) Amthor, in Service.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Many people will donate blood once, twice, or a handful of times in their lives. The process doesn't take long, and there's a feel-good chance that the blood you donate will help save a life. But one Veteran takes the selfless act of blood donation and sets the bar to a higher level.
George Amthor is a powerhouse individual: in his life, he has been a WWII Veteran, baseball pitcher, businessman, real estate agent, and a record-shattering blood donor. He began giving blood in 1936 at the age of 18. He was offered 25 cents to donate blood to a friend of his father, who was in need at the time. According to Amthor, men were only making roughly two dollars a day at that time, so 25 cents was a hefty sum.

"He did it, but he never took the money," said Amthor's daughter, Trudy A. DeLawter, with a smile. Since then, Amthor has donated a total of 338 pints of whole blood to the American Red Cross. That's over 42 gallons! Having recently celebrated his 94th birthday on May 24, Amthor is the oldest blood donor. He also holds the record for the highest number of whole blood donations in the US. Amthor and his daughter noted that they may be aiming him for a spot in the Guinness World Records, which could be very much in the Veteran's reach.

In a YouTube video filmed and posted in October 2011, The American Red Cross organization presented Amthor with recognition of having donated 334 pints of blood. The video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aNzxa2L6lA

Amthor was born in San Antonio, TX. He moved to California after the war with his wife and six children. He has mainly donated blood in Pasadena and with the Santa Ana Red Cross. He first came to VA Long Beach in 1964 during a blood shortage. These blood shortages can happen whenever there is a tragedy or a natural disaster. Here, Amthor donated three pints of blood during the shortage. Recalling his time in the Air Force, Amthor noted the work-related benefits of giving blood. "If you were eligible and you went and gave blood, you had that day off. So that's what I did," he chuckled. But regardless of whether or not he receives perks from donating, he has been tireless in his donations.

"It only takes one hour every 56 days. Who can't spare one hour to give one pint of blood?" Amthor said, coining a phrase that might just inspire others to go that extra step and donate a little bit of their time to help those who need it.