For Immediate Release | Compiled by AME Media Services
Having maxed out his allotted donations for 2019, Bay Area Red Cross blood donor, volunteer and activist Art Maxwell will now lead efforts to drive others to get into the game, or play harder if they are already blood-platelet or plasma donors.
Art Maxwell’s short story on blood donation began when a nurse practitioner told him he has a really rare blood type: AB Negative. She said that if he decided to help others in need, he would be a great asset at the Red Cross blood bank.
Art has now donated for two decades on a level that recently had him featured in the Northern California Red Cross volunteer newsletter, recognizing Art as their only-ever “Apheresis Hero.” Here are some details of this amazing accomplishment:
• Northern California never had an Apheresis Hero until Art Maxwell in 2019. As of July 25, he holds the regional record at 37 GALLONS.
• Art’s blood type, AB Negative, is the rarest standard blood type — seen in about half of one percent of world population’s blood types.
• Having donated up to and including Triple platelet donations — or the doubles of platelets and plasma — every WEEK at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center in Oakland, Art has now maxed out for the year per Red Cross protocol. This restricts donors at 24 visits maximum, which is usually done with every other week scheduling.
• Because there is a severe platelet shortage, our Apheresis Hero will now lead efforts to drive others to get into the game or play harder if they are already blood-platelet or plasma donors. He asks, “What if everybody gave the most they could of the best thing they have to offer — as often as possible?”
“All blood donors are heroes…” says the staunch activist. “I am humbled and honored to lead the charge against trauma and cancer from a blood donor position. It takes a boldness and perspicacious tenacity to get past minor discomfort and inconvenience, and a lot of people could have done what I did. I simply went to the blood bank at the Red Cross Oakland blood center MORE than any other donor in Northern California.”
He quickly adds that he could not be doing this without the support of his amazing and wonderful wife, “who prepares the great meals that sustain my health.” Also having a hand in this are “the best Apheresis Recruiters in the west: Karen Crawford and Tamara Foreman — who have tirelessly encouraged me, and of course, the technicians at Oakland Blood Center who do their jobs like the professionals they are.”
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A Special Thank You
Art recently created an award to honor the Red Cross Apheresis Recruiters, Workers and Volunteers in the NorCal region.
Mr. Maxwell is a member in good standing of the American Society for Apheresis. In addition to regularly saving lives, Art is an accomplished musician and producer, performing regularly on the flute and saxophone in the Bay Area and across the country with legendary guitarist Calvin Keys. He is also a sought-after bicycle mechanic and lifelong cycling enthusiast.