Tracy Judson Donates Blood-5Tracy Judson, a Senior Engineer in Gulf Power’s Transmission Services department, estimates he has squeezed a rubber ball more than 10,000 times while giving blood.

But here’s a more impressive number: Recently he reached the 10-gallon donation mark. To put that in perspective, the average adult has 1.2 to 1.5 gallons of blood, so 10 gallons is certainly a “wow” factor.

“My dad had quite a few surgeries where he needed some blood so I started giving,” he said. “And I haven’t stopped. After I give, I put down the date on my calendar when I can give again and I’m usually back within that week.”

For more than 13 years, Judson has been letting a technician stick a needle into his vein and draw out blood. That’s 80 trips to the blood bank. For 11 years, he has donated double red cells so it counts as donating twice.

Double red cell donation is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning back the plasma and platelets to the donor.

Judson is able to donate every 16 weeks and schedules an appointment every time he is cleared to donate again.

Betty Roberts, public relations and media manager for One Blood in Pensacola, said there are not many 10-gallon donors.

“Each donation provides blood for three people, so Tracy’s an extraordinary individual,” she said. “There is no substitute for blood so when you can give back, that is a good thing. There’s no way to thank people for that.”

Judson shrugs off any accolades. His calendar in November is marked for his next donation.

“If you can donate, then you should think about doing it,” he said. “I know there are some people who can’t talk about blood without getting sick. But it saves lives.”