He is the top blood donor in all of central Ohio. NBC 4 was there when Mark Baker passed the remarkable milestone of donating blood 280 times.
“It was August of 1974,” Mark Baker said of his very first donation. He worked at Nationwide and the company was doing a blood drive.
“It just feels like a little pinch,” Baker said. Since then he has donated several times a year for the past 45 years. “I do it because it’s easy to do, it helps people, not everyone can do it, and I am lucky.”
According to the Red Cross of Central Ohio that is 35 gallons of blood. At the organization’s Gahanna blood donation center on Friday, they awarded Baker with a 35-year gold pin,
“It was actually really hard for us to find one for him in our inventory because it is so rare,” Rodney Wilson with the Red Cross said.
Baker’s remarkable donation comes at a time when donations are at an all-time low, due to recent bad weather.
“The Red Cross does have an emergency need for all types right now,” Wilson said. According to the Red Cross only about 3% of the population donates blood. “It is a really small number and most of them only give a couple times a year.
The Red Cross takes donations by appointment and walk-ins during certain blood drives and locations.
Baker hopes he inspires others to donate blood.
“The folks at the Red Cross, they make it a great experience,” Baker said. He will also donate as much as he can, for as long as he can, regardless if stays on top, “My son, the first time he gave said he’s going to catch up with me, I said good luck, you got 40 years to go,” Baker said.