Blood donor has been saving lives for nearly 40 years

Blood donor has been saving lives for nearly 40 years

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - One of Myrtle Beach's newest residents has been saving lives for nearly 40 years by donating blood.

Tom Acker relocated to the Grand Strand about a month ago from Long Island, N.Y. He said one of his priorities is continuing to donate blood.

"I feel good about it," Acker said. "It started, I guess, in the 80s or something and it made me feel really good."

Acker's blood donations have been taking place over the last four decades. Over the last 10 years, he has also started donating platelets.

"The fact that you are helping people who need it, whether they are suffering from cancer, or whatever the situation may be, they need blood," said Acker.

WMBF News is teaming up with the American Red Cross, Alpha Media, and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to host a blood drive on Wednesday, March 30 at the Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach and the Magnolia Mall in Florence. Click here for details on how you can help save lives.

The longtime donor has spent hundreds of hours in donation stations and tries to lead by example.

"I was really involved in my parish when I lived in New York," Acker said. "I was the spokesperson for blood drives. I would speak at all the masses and encourage people to come out and donate blood."

The grandfather, who moved to Myrtle Beach to be closer to his youngest son and his family, said these days people have become too preoccupied with living life that they forget to save one.

"They may say it's kind of hard to fit things in, but this (donating blood), to me, is very easy. It's very straightforward," Acker said.

He said whenever he hears someone say they don't have time to donate blood, he always have a counter back.

"There is an old saying I got from my wife, when people would say, 'Oh, I am so busy, I don't have time!' My wife would say, 'If you want something done, you ask a busy person because if they say, 'yes' they are going to do it, because they know how to manage their time.' So I would use that when I would talk to people encouraging them to donate," said Acker. "That's really not an excuse, saying they're busy. If it is something important, you make time for it."

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