Wasilla man recognized for five decades of donating blood

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 6:23 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A Wasilla man is being celebrated for donating blood for 50 years.

Over the years Ed Lamm has donated 581 times for a total of 72 gallons of blood, according to the Blood Bank of Alaska.

“He’s an everyday hero,” said Blood Bank of Alaska CEO Bob Scanlon. “He’s a guy who’s come in for over 50 years and made sure that he contributed to the community by donating blood, blood products. Does it of his own accord and doesn’t need fanfare, he’s just a really good guy.”

Lamm did get a little fanfare on Wednesday. The Blood Bank presented him with a plaque, balloons and a cake to mark his achievement.

But while he admitted it felt nice, Lamm was there to get down to business and it wasn’t long before he was in the chair and rolling up his sleeves to donate again.

Lamm says he’s been asked why he donates so often — every two weeks is his goal — his answer, “because I can” is only part of the reason.

Even though he never meets the people who receive his blood, he knows they’re out there, including one young woman who is recovering from leukemia.

“She said, ‘I probably got some of your platelets’, so that was kind of a good feeling,” Lamm said. “You can see somebody who you actually think it helped, and she’s doing well today.”

But there’s another reason Lamm visits the Blood Bank so regularly. He has a friendly rivalry going with another donor. Kenn Barnett is number two on the donor list, and he keeps a close eye on his progress compared to Lamms’.

“It’s just a fun rivalry that I think is benefitting a lot of people, and that’s why we do it,” he said.

As for the future, Lamm said, “I have one plan, just stay ahead of Ken,” and of course, keep donating as long as he can.

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