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April 24, 2014

Man has helped hundreds with blood donations

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — An Oneonta man continues to help others in a tradition that started in 1970.

Ed Leone, a 62-year-old independent living adviser at Oneonta Job Corps Academy, started donating blood while a student at State University College at Oneonta, he said Tuesday. With his one pint January donation he has now donated 20 gallons.

Maureen Wellman, communications manager with the New York-Penn Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross, said his donations provided 160 units of blood. Since each can be split into components that can be used by three patients, Leone has helped 480 patients, she said. 

She does not have statistics on how Leone’s donations compare to others in the area, but “he joins an elite group of donors who have helped save lives. We are enormously grateful for that dedication.”

According to the American Red Cross website, people donating must wait at least eight weeks between donations of whole blood and 16 weeks between double red cell donations. Other regulations apply.

Leone said that when he started donating at the college, he was looking to do something to help others. In the 1980’s he learned of someone who had donated many gallons of blood, and felt a challenge to so the same thing. He is discussing it publicly now to encourage others to get involved. 

“No matter how much I give there will always be a greater need,” said Leone.

Leone said he usually donates about four times a year, usually at a drive at Saint James’ Episcopal Church. 

“There are plenty of opportunities to give,” he said. “You just have to keep your eyes open.”

Upcoming drives include: Today, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. - Christ Episcopal Church, Cooperstown; April 29, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Edmeston Central School; April 30, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - SUNY Oneonta.

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