PERU - Roy E. Perry considers himself "just an ordinary guy giving blood." However, to the North Country Regional Blood Donor Center, he's much more.
The donor center located in Plattsburgh hosted a ceremony Nov. 18 naming Perry as the newest inductee to the Donation Hall of Fame, an annual honor bestowed by Fenwal Blood Technologies which recognizes those who have "demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to blood donation."
The 77-year-old was nominated by the blood center administration for his "loyalty to being a blood donor over the years," said lead phlebotomist Martha Algier.
"You fill the room with your cheerful personality and with your great outlook on life. you're a true inspiration," said Algier.
Shaun Debold, a representative from Fenwal, congratulated Perry for his dedication to giving blood, adding the hall of fame was established to recognize commitment like his in donating blood.
"Roy, you certainly personify that in every way from all that I have heard," said Algier.
"You've done so much for our patients here and we just want to say thanks and congratulations," added Stephens M. Mundy, chief executive officer of CVPH Medical Center, which oversees operation of the blood donor center.
Since 1996, Perry has donated 152 pints, or 19 gallons, to the North Country Regional Blood Donor Center. However, Perry said his donating dates back much further.
"I started donating back in college," said Perry, who graduated from college in 1954. "Then, I donated while I was in the Marine Corps."
Perry would be a donor today had he not been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. His condition makes him ineligible to donate until he has been declared cancer-free for five years.
"By then, I'll be 82," Perry exclaimed, adding he'd still like to donate then if he's able. "The worst thing about finding out I have cancer is that I can't give blood."
Though he can't donate, Perry isn't resting on his laurels. He's found a new way to help the blood donor center by being an advocate for blood donation, encouraging people to give "the gift of life."
"I always say that you have the gift of life running through your veins," said Perry. "It doesn't cost anything to give and you could help save someone's life."
Perry's recognition included receiving a glass award and being featured in a 2010 calendar created to honor dedicated blood donors.