Area Resident Makes 400th Specialized Donation To Stanford Blood Center

Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Michele Gassaway (650) 723-8237
Jennifer Reczkowski (650) 724-7187

STANFORD, Calif. - Earlier this month, Woodside resident Dick Tagg made his 400th apheresis donation to the Stanford Blood Center. Far from your typical blood donation, this specialized two-hour process allows the center to collect specific blood components such as platelets.

Tagg started his incredible donation run more than 20 years ago upon reading an article about children with leukemia. "They were the same age as my kids," he said. That realization, along with the understanding that he could help by donating blood, inspired him to become a fixture of the blood center.

Apheresis donations help people undergoing cancer therapy and leukemia patients who do not have enough platelets due to either their disease or their cancer treatment, which can damage bone marrow and result in hemorrhage. Transfusions of platelets from apheresis donations can help keep these patients alive while allowing enough time for their therapy to work.

Tagg started donating at the Stanford Children's Hospital, before the blood center opened its doors in 1978. He was struck by seeing the children who would later receive his life-saving gift. "You could waste the same amount of time at the coffee shop as you would donating blood," Tagg said. For him it's a habit. He donates every other week and feels odd if he misses a visit. A stop at the library on the way to the center allows him to choose a video to watch while he donates. "It needs to be done, and I'm able to do it," he said.

Donors should be in good health, with no cold or flu symptoms. They must also eat well prior to donation, drink fluids and present photo identification at the time of donation. To learn more about the apheresis program, call 1-888-723-7831. For more information on the Stanford Blood Center or to schedule an appointment, please visit

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Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at