When Officer James Taylor of the Waxahachie Police Department started donating blood on his lunch break with a fellow officer, he discovered a new way to help people in his community. James, who goes by JT, has been passionate about giving back both on and off-duty ever since he received his own life-saving blood donation while undergoing cancer treatment.
“The people that need blood are just like me. And I want to give everyone I possibly can a second chance,” JT said.
Cancer treatment gave JT a true understanding of the ongoing need for blood supply at hospitals. Patients like him depend on blood transfusions every day for life-saving operations and medical procedures. It’s up to all of us to give regularly and help sustain the blood supply in support of our families, friends, neighbors, and those like JT who serve our community.
He recalls a moment in the hospital when his doctor showed him an empty three-liter bottle. That was how much blood he needed to survive his upcoming operations. The odds that JT would survive one surgery alone were 20 percent. With the help of his doctors and blood donors in his community, he underwent 6 surgeries and won his battle with cancer.
After his experience, JT didn’t want to give just three liters back – he wanted to save as many lives as he could.
“People get so caught up in life; they don’t want to take ten minutes to donate blood,” he said. “They don’t realize what a big impact it has.”
He is an O+ blood type, meaning his blood can be transfused to any positive blood types. He began his relationship with Carter BloodCare by making whole blood donations on a bus. Today, he gives platelets every two weeks at the Carter BloodCare Mansfield Donor Center.
Last year, JT posted a “Platelet Challenge” to his Facebook page, with hopes of encouraging friends to donate. He started donating platelets when he realized that Carter BloodCare doesn’t receive as many platelet donations as other types of blood products. Platelets are cells that circulate in the blood and keep us from bleeding, and they are important for cancer patients, emergency traumas, and people with chronic conditions. Since platelets have a short shelf life of just five days, it’s important for donors to help keep the supply consistent. After JT’s Platelet Challenge, one of his friend felt inspired to begin donating platelets with him regularly, and others made their first blood donations with Carter BloodCare.
Since 2013, JT has challenged himself to make 20 donations a year. He plans to host a blood drive in his community soon, and he will continue to donate regularly to meet his personal goal for years to come.
“If I can give, I’m just going to keep on giving.”
To make your next life-saving donation, please click here.