September 6, 2019


DAYTON, Ohio - Butler Township donor Mike Gale thought about his wife Carolyn when he made his milestone 500th lifetime blood donation Sept. 5 at the Dayton Community Blood Center. Mike is only the eighth CBC donor to become a member of the "500 Club" and he did it because of Carolyn.


Mike and Carolyn first met at Michigan State University. They lost touch when he went into the U.S. Army in 1969 and survived a one-year tour in Vietnam.


"The first time I donated was in the Army," said Mike. "It was during the Vietnam War, when they would basically march your whole company down to donate and said, 'OK guys, do your part.'"


When he came home, Mike and Carolyn met again, this time in graduate school at the University of Michigan. "I was sitting in the dean's office of the Math Department," he said. "Carolyn was in the office to drop something off and I said, 'I know her!' I chased her down the hall and re-introduced myself, and it stuck."


They stuck together, moving to the Miami Valley, raising a son and daughter, and enjoying six grandchildren. Mike had a 29 year-career as a software engineer with Sheffield Measurements. He retired in 2000, soon after losing Carolyn to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


"I started donating platelets when my wife was being treated for cancer," he said. "She was getting platelets regularly. She passed away in September of '98."


Mike has stuck to his routine of donating platelets on a full schedule of 24 times per year.


"Just another blood donation," is how he described his milestone and added, "It is kind of nice to hit that number, but it won't stop me from donating!"


When asked if Carolyn might be proud of his accomplishment, he smiled, paused, and gave a tribute to her legacy. "Both of my kids are donors," he said.