San Antonio Letter Carrier Marcos Perez III delivers more than mail. He also delivers the gift of life.
Every two weeks for the past 34 years, Perez has set aside two hours of his own time to donate blood platelets, a blood component that allows him to donate more often than if he were giving whole blood. His total donations recently reached 100 gallons — a rare achievement in his community.
As far as Perez is concerned, he’s just getting started.
“I will keep donating until they tell me I can no longer donate,” he said.
Blood donation is a personal cause for Perez, 57, who was born prematurely and needed a transfusion to survive.
After he learned a friend of his father’s donated the blood he received, Perez tracked down the man to thank him. Since his father’s death a year ago, Perez has become close to the man, who he calls his “lifesaver.”
Perez’s donations have likely helped cancer patients, accident victims and many others, according to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, where he makes his donations.
“Mr. Perez is what you’d consider an all-star for the blood community,” said Roger Ruiz, a center spokesman.
What advice does Perez offer others interested in donating blood?
“Give from the heart because you come out feeling great knowing that you are helping someone in need,” he said.