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Morrison, Ill. man recognized for 233rd blood donation

Lyle Bush is 80-years-old and has been donating blood since he was 23
Morrison, Ill. man recognized for 233rd blood donation
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:06 PM CST
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MORRISON, Ill. (KWQC) - “Mr. Bush, on behalf of the American Red Cross, we’d like to present you with a certificate of achievement.”

80-year-old Lyle Bush of Morrison, Ill. has been donating blood since he was 23.

Upon completing his 233rd blood donation, the American Red Cross presented the father of three and grandfather to five with a certificate and a medal to show their appreciation.

“I like to help other people if I can. And, this is one way, an easy way to do it. Whatever I can do to help people out, that’s what I like to do,” said Bush.

What started off as donating a couple times per year when the “Bloodmobile” came to town, quickly turned into multiple times per year after the first six or seven pints donated.

“I thought; well, you can give every eight weeks. But I wanted to give more frequently, so I started going to the Red Cross set up in Rock Falls, which they were there every week at that time,” said Bush.

As the nation faces the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, Bush’s type O-Positive blood is the most needed. His blood is also part of an exclusive group of donors.

“He’s never been exposed to Cytomegalovirus or CMV, which means he’s never developed the antibodies to it. So when a baby is at a hospital and is very fragile, and possibly immunocompromised, the baby would need a blood transfusion, we would look for blood like Lyle’s,” said Holly Baker, communications manager for the American Red Cross of Illinois.

One pint of blood can help save up to three lives. That keeps Lyle coming back, and he encourages others to donate, even if they’re nervous.

“Just the thought of giving blood kinda scares them. There’s really nothing to it. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t have any after affects. I never feel it when I, after I have given blood,” said Bush.

The question now -- will there be a 234th donation?

“As long as I’m able, I’ll keep giving,” said Bush.

While Lyle’s O-Positive blood type is considered the most needed blood type, the American Red Cross encourages people of all blood types to donate as the need for blood continues during the national shortage.

If you’d like to sign up to donate. You can visit www.redcrossblood.org Or call 1-800-RED CROSS. You can also download the free mobile app.

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