For Immediate Release 7/29/2020 | Compiled by AME Media Services
In 2019, we told you about Art Maxwell; Red Cross volunteer, blood donor and activist. We told you about his valiant effort to recruit and inspire blood-platelet and plasma donors. We told you about his tireless, record-setting blood donations; an effort which earned him the title of “Apheresis HERO” for the NorCal Region. Well… he’s back!
“With blood banks running dangerously low on supplies, super donors like Maxwell are more important than ever. Stringent protocols have been put in place to minimize any chance of passing on COVID-19” — says journalist Andrew Gilbert in the SF Chronicle Datebook section (Apr. 25, 2020).
Art Maxwell’s short story on blood donation — recently featured in the Northern California Red Cross Volunteer Newsletter — 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. “I had a very young son, who would come with me as I donated blood and watch the whole show with big eyes! Later, he came on his 16th birthday — the first day he was eligible — to donate for the first time.”
Having donated now for over two decades on an unprecedented level in NorCal, our hero shows no signs of slowing down. In 2020 — as with 2019 — Art will again donate the maximum allowed amount over the course of the year.
In a noteworthy milestone, regional history was again made on Sunday, August 2 at 7:00 AM; as Art Maxwell — Apheresis Hero — donated both platelets and plasma at the Oakland Blood Center of the American Red Cross, hitting the 45 gallon mark. Another record!
Because there is a severe platelet shortage, Art says he will continue to 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 determined 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.”
Note: We encourge media outlets to report this story during this time of Blood Donor shortages.
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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. Read Art’s story: “How an 8th place finish in the 1973 Golden Gate Park Criterium bike race formed the future Apheresis Hero of the American Red Cross NorCal Region” »