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101 Donations: Rochester resident makes giving blood a routine

“Spend a half hour of your time and you can save three lives?” said Jeff Goodew. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that’s a good outcome.”

Goodew 101 Donations 01.JPG
Krysta Flower, left, a Mayo Clinic phlebotomist, insterts a line into Jeff Goodew's arm, right, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. Goodew's donation Tuesday was the 101st time he has given blood.
John Molseed / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Jeff Goodew settled into a chair at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center Tuesday morning.

Krysta Flower, a Mayo Clinic phlebotomist, handed him a foam grip and the two wordlessly went about their routine. He squeezed while she measured his blood pressure and prepared to draw blood.

Goodew didn’t need instructions on what to do to donate blood. He had done it 100 times before — literally.

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Goodew’s Tuesday appointment was the 101st time he has donated blood; he knows the routine, he said.

“When you’ve been through this 101 times …”

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Nothing dramatic had happened to Goodew, his family or his friends to kick off his streak of generosity.

For him, it was simple math.

“Spend a half hour of your time and you can save three lives?” he said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that’s a good outcome.”

The numbers were laid out for him at a Mayo Clinic blood drive at IBM more than 40 years ago. A type test at the drive revealed he has O-negative blood, which is the universal donor type. O-negative is a blood type most people can receive in an emergency .

With that, Goodew had a new routine every 12 weeks.

Goodew 101 Donations 02.JPG
Krysta Flower, left, a Mayo Clinic phlebotomist, insterts a line into Jeff Goodew's arm, right, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. Goodew's donation Tuesday was the 101st time he has given blood.
John Molseed / Post Bulletin

“I grew up in a household where my parents said if you can do something to help, you should do it,” he said.

Aside from shifting his schedule for some minor medical routines, Goodew has consistently donated blood every 84 days.

“Like clockwork,” he said.

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Donors can only donate red blood cells every 12 weeks.

Since he started giving blood, Goodew has seen what good the donations do for others. One of his best friends and former co-workers had a liver and kidney transplant.

“Apparently, went through lots of blood,” Goodew said. “You can read the statistics and stuff but when you know someone going through something in real life, it makes it real.”

After Goodew retired from IBM about nine years ago, he began regularly making the short trip to the Mayo Blood Donor Center in downtown Rochester.

To mark his 100th donation last year, Goodew was given a backpack. He has received other small rewards at other milestones.

“I think I’ve had every gift you have,” he said to Mayo staff Tuesday.

He wears and uses them to promote giving blood, he said.

Those efforts are appreciated, Mayo staff said Tuesday. Earlier this month, Mayo Clinic put out an urgent public request for blood donations as reserves are running low.

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January is National Blood Donor Month.

John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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