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Giving in honor of others

Everyone has their own story when it comes to what drove them to start donating blood.

After losing a close friend to colon cancer, Rudolph Lizcano Jr. learned how platelets can help cancer patients while they undergo chemotherapy.

The knowledge motivated him to begin his journey as a donor. He has been donating for six years and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Lizcano always had a passion for making a difference in the world. He served in the U.S. Navy for nine years before retiring to work for automotive seating company Adient. Not only does he help many others in his career, he makes sure to take time off to donate.

It usually takes him 2½ hours to give platelets. He’ll spend the time watching a comedy or adventure movie on his phone.

Although the pandemic has made donating more difficult for some, Lizcano tries to donate once a month with his wife, making the experience enjoyable by calling it “date time.”

Lizcano wants everyone to know what a difference a donation can make.

“It’s simple and life-changing to know you can help someone for free,” he said. “All it costs you is a bit of your time.”

He never regretted his decision of becoming a blood donor and only wished he began earlier in his life.

“I think about how I could have started sooner and maybe had a chance to help my friend,” he said. “I have since lost a few more friends and an aunt to cancer, but I know there are others out there like me helping to pay it forward for my family. I am trying to do my part because one day I may have to reach out for help.”

Donors can call 210-731-5590, or visit SouthTexasBlood.org to make an appointment at one of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center’s seven donor rooms or to locate a blood drive.