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Illinois Man Honored for Donating 30 Gallons of Blood

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Illinois  --  An Illinois man is being honored for his work with the American Red Cross after donating 30 gallons of blood over the course of 60 years.

KMOV reporter Rob Sneed talked to 82-year-old Marvin Skaer about his lifetime of donations.

Marvin is a man of few words, but said that his desire to help came from his family when he was just a teenager in 1953.

"My brother was in Korea and he was injured in the war and my mom went to the blood bank and took me along, and that's how I got started," he says.

Wearing a shirt declaring "Every Pint Matters," Marvin says, "it makes me feel good, cause it is helping somebody."

Members of his family have also stepped up. They took pictures while donating at a blood drive on Sunday, and Marvin could not be happier--and neither could the Red Cross.

"Hero, life saver. That's what he's basically doing," says American Red Cross employee Joe Zydlo.

Although Marvin's donations have been very helpful, the Red Cross says they still need more donors. Blood donations are down in the Missouri and Illinois areas by nearly 320 compared to the same time last year.

"Obviously, some weather has impacted it, too. It makes it a little more difficult for people to get to some of the blood drives or the donor centers, especially people like Marvin," says Zydlo.

But Marvin has managed to find a way, and hopes others will do the same.

"It's just the right thing to do," he says. "Blood is always on the short list. They're always needing blood."

Marvin plans on donating more blood with in the next eight weeks.

If you want to follow in his footsteps, the Red Cross is holding a blood drive in Des Moines in February, and LifeServe Blood Center is always accepting donors.

There is currently an urgent need for four types: O positive, O negative, B positive, and AB negative.