For Immediate Release 5/14/2021 | Compiled by AME Media Services
In 2019 and 2020, we told you about musician 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.
Now, in another Noteworthy Milestone, regional history was again made on Friday, May 14, 2021 @ 10am; as Art donated plasma at the Oakland Blood Center of the American Red Cross, hitting the 50 Gallon Mark – Another Record!
Since our last Press Release:
• The American Red Cross of the Bay Area has recognized Art Maxwell as the 2021 Alameda County Biomedical Services Donor of The Year for outstanding contributions to blood services through multiple blood donations at The American Red Cross.
• Art is the Top Blood Donor this decade in the Northern California Red Cross Region. “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 esteemed writer for the Bay Area music scene, Andrew Gilbert, in the SF Chronicle Datebook section (Apr. 25, 2020).
• All during this pandemic Art has kept his APHERESIS HERO status intact and remained eligible, having maxed out two years in a row by donating Platelets and Plasma 24 times. This is the maximum number of donations annually permitted by the FDA.
• Now he is doing it again for a third year in a row, all with a mask on and every donation consisting of the world’s rarest standard blood type AB negative.
• This year Art will be achieving the milestone of 400 units or FIFTY gallons at the Oakland Blood Center of The American Red Cross N. California Region.
• While many musicians have seen their gigs evaporate during the pandemic, Maxwell has stayed busy serving the community of Leukaemia patients and Trauma Patients the best way he can; through nonstop marathon blood donations at unprecedented levels for the Bay Area. Also unprecedented for the Northern California Red Cross Region.
• Art was interviewed by CBSN when he reached the record breaking 45 Gallon Mark — See “Super Blood Donor” on YouTube by CBSN.
• Maxwell is a tireless advocate for blood donation and uses his leading donor status as a platform to honor those who made his quest possible. Please see on Reddit: Blood Donors, his tributes; “To Honor Dr. Charles Drew” (the African American surgeon and scientist MD for whom the Washington DC Red Cross Blood Bank is named after), and “To Honor The Filipina Phlebotomist “ (Art’s personal tribute to one of the many phlebotomists at the OBC who make it all work for him and many others).
• Art has also created the BEST IN THE WEST AWARD for the Apheresis Recruiters at the Oakland Blood Center: Karen Crawford and Tamara Foreman, who have literally brought out the best in him and many others. He is also the author of the APHERESIS HERO poem, found on his website and Google Images.
Red Cross Press Contact: Jenny Hansen
Phone:(669) 209-5266 | Email: email@example.com
Acknowledgements: Gretchen White, Producer for the KPIX spot on CBS, Karen Crawford and Tamara Foreman, recruiters at the Oakland Blood Center, and Tibebu Bezunhe, Floor Operations Supervisor.
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 2021 — as with 2019 and 2020 — Art will again donate the maximum allowed amount over the course of the year.
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” »