For Miami Valley Today
DAYTON — Troy donor Steven Gellatly has joined the “500 Club” at Community Blood Center. He celebrated with congratulations and cupcakes July 3 at the Dayton CBC Donor Center after making his milestone 500th lifetime donation. He becomes only the eighth CBC donor to reach the milestone.
Gellatly is a dedicated platelet donor who averages more than 20 donations per year. He began 2019 in style as CBC’s first donor of the New Year, and the first donor of the inaugural January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month. He said on Jan. 2 that his goal was to reach 500 and predicted it might be in July.
Asked how it felt to reach 500, Steve smiled and said, “Old!” He summed it up as just another step on his “Donor for Life” journey. “Next will be 501, then 501, they’re all coming up,” he said. “I’m going to keep counting them.”
CBC staff members know Steven as a mild-mannered, semi-retired Lutheran pastor who can disappear into the trusty mini-DVD player he brings with him to watch movies while donating.
He learned to be patient during the early years of the apheresis procedures. Platelet donors might be called in to donate at any hour for someone with a special need. The process was lengthy and required needles in both arms. He said, “It used to take about three hours. Now, it’s not even two and I donate double platelets.”
Gellatly actually has more than 500 lifetime donations. He started donating whole blood as a young man in California before moving to the Miami Valley in 1990. He soon became a regular donor at CBC blood drives in Hamilton.
When Gellatly made his 400th lifetime donation in 2014 he was semi-retired, living in Tipp City, and still preaching at Galilee Lutheran Church in Russells Point. In 2016, Gellatly and his wife Lori moved to Troy and he has been preaching part-time at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Milton.
The couple have been married 36 years and have two daughters, both living in South Carolina. Their daughter Christine is a TV news meteorologist, regularly reporting on the hurricane season.
“When she was a child she was terrified of storms,” Gellatly said. “Now she’s a meteorologist and it doesn’t faze her at all.”