Northside Hospital - Blood platelet donor reaches 300 donations in Atlanta

Blood platelet donor reaches 300 donations in Atlanta

Posted on: August 12, 2019


In 2001, Jim Arnett answered a call for local blood platelet donors to help a family friend battling cancer, his son’s middle school science teacher. Although he had donated whole blood in the past, Mr. Arnett had no experience donating platelets. After speaking to Atlanta Blood Services (ABS) at Northside Hospital Atlanta about the donation process, he scheduled an appointment in May.

Mr. Arnett donated twice before his friend passed away. “He was such a positive guy, grabbing all of life while he could,” Mr. Arnett said.

After his friend’s passing, Mr. Arnett was encouraged to go back and keep donating.

Every day, people get bad news, like a cancer diagnosis, and they need blood donations for their treatment,” Mr. Arnett said. “But lots of people can’t stand to be stuck by a needle. I can stand the needles, so it’s up to me to keep donating. I need to keep doing this.”

In May 2002, Mr. Arnett was donating platelets again when he noticed a plaque at the ABS donation sight listing the ABS top donors. A life-long athlete and naturally competitive, he thought, “if they’re keeping score, I’m going to get my name up there one day.”

On July 16, 2019, Mr. Arnett kept his promise and made his 300th platelet donation at ABS, making him the leading donor at ABS.

Since his first donation nearly ten years ago, Mr. Arnett has always made time to donate at ABS. When he worked in Buckhead, he could stop there on his way home. Now retired, he continues to make to the drive to ABS from his home in Northridge.

Mr. Arnett has held small parties with friends, family and ABS staff to celebrate his 100th, 200th, 250th and now 300th donation milestones, but he’s adamant to give praise back to ABS staff. He’s also quick to celebrate the strength of the patients receiving these donations, many of whom are seeking care in the same building as ABS at The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute.

When people congratulate me for donating so much, I really want to reflect the credit back to the those who work at Atlanta Blood Services who make it possible to donate each time,” Mr. Arnett said. “And even more importantly, we should recognize the people who receive these donations, the patients fighting cancer. They’re a much bigger deal.”

Filed under: Cancer, Patient Stories,


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